The Gambia government through the National Environment Agency (NEA), during a press conference at its Documentation Center on Friday, declared the banning of sniper insecticides product, importation, warehousing, distribution sales and use in the country.
Speaking to journalists, Dawda Badjie, executive director of NEA, said the misuse of Sniper insecticides product has been a public concern since 2019 in the country.
He said considering that concern, the Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides Control and Management Board issued a moratorium on the importation, distribution, sales and use of Sniper insecticides product in 2019 followed by a ban with a grace period of six months.
“While we still observing the grace period, reports had emerged from the social media that fish vendors and processors were using Sniper insecticides product to preserve fish products,” he added.
The NEA executive director continued that after the news broke out, sampling and analysis on fish products across major fish landing sites and markets were conducted by relevant government institutions.
He explained that the result of analysis obtained from the exercise confirmed the presence of sniper active ingredient. (dichlorvos) and four other pesticide active ingredients found in the sniper marketed in the country.
However, Dr. Badjie revealed that the active ingredient in sniper product is Dichlorvos, an organophosphate compound, which is a banned product in most part of the world due to adverse effects they posed to human and non-target species in the environment.
According to him, to curb the current misuse and in view of the toxicological and ecotoxicological effects associated with the sniper product, the board decided to revoke the current grace period and imposed an immediate complete ban of the Sniper product in the country.
Furthermore, he said in considering the public health and environmental concerns associated with the use of the product in the country, the Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides Control and Management Board, acting in accordance with its Act, completely bans Sniper and any other Dichlorvos containing product in the country.
He stressed that the decision taken affects importation, warehousing, distribution, sales and use of the product in the country, noting that all businesses and individuals are warned to cease from the importation, distribution, sale and use of the product with immediate effect.