By: Binta Jaiteh
LaminJaiteh, Registrar of Pesticides and Hazardous Chemicals National Environment Agency has disclosed that the usage of the sniper, importation, and other related chemicals is completely banned in the country and defaulters will be arraigned.
Speaking to the reporters on Friday during a press conference held at NEA, Jaiteh, said “We have banned sniper and Dichlorvos containing materials in the Gambia. These are organs that we think are very toxic for human use and as a result the Hazardous chemicals and pesticides control management board came up with a decision to ban snipers in the country.”
He explained that people are reformulating the products and putting them in new containers or giving them another name while the same active ingredient remains.
“We, therefore, came up with the enforcement strategy with our inspectorate unit the pesticide and hazardous chemical program, and the inspectorate unit to conduct a three-day enforcement that geared towards looking at the status of this product that has been banned from the market.”
He pointed out that during the enforcement they realized that sniper is still available in the market and they decided to confiscate the products with other products that contain Dichlorvos. Noting that, they confiscated a significant amount and also observed the people who are involved in the business.
However, LaminJaiteh added that the law requires that anyone who is dealing with pesticides should have the competence and knowledge to be able to handle chemicals if they fail to meet those requirements they are not eligible to engage in the business.
On his part, Dr. Dawda Badjie , Executive Director NEA emphasized that sniper is banned as other related products which involve the importation and distribution, and use of illegal chemicals effect in May.
“Over time the products are still used in the market which means people heard of the enforcement but feel they can get away with whatever they are doing. In that, the ban took a grace period because to implement laws you need a human face. “
Badjie revealed that illegal pesticides have been confiscated from 47 vendors which is a huge number and people should all serve as policemen to report anyone who is selling sniper and other hazardous chemicals. “We have three hundred and twenty-eight containers of unknown pesticides that have been confiscated and we have six hundred and seventy-seven packets of unknown pesticides and 21 kilograms of powdered pesticides as a result of the work.