By Nicholas Bass
The National Environmental Agency (NEA) on Tuesday held one-day training with stakeholders on global development, reviewing and updating National implementation plans under Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants known to be toxic to humans and the environment.
Addressing the gathering at Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara Conference Center, Bijilo, the Director of the National Environment Agency, Dr. Dawda Badjie said “Exposure to various chemicals occurs every day through multiple routes such as ingestion, inhalation, and skin contact via the umbilical cord to the unborn child.
He cited that, according to the World Health Organization report 1.6 million people died as a result of living or working in an unhealthy environment.
He noted that the government is committed to protecting the environment as a vital component of sustainable development with its partners in the implementation of the Stockholm Convention.
On her part, The Minister of Environment, Climate Change and National Change, Honorable Minister Rohey John Manjang affirms the government’s partnership with the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and Africa Institute in the implementation of the next phase of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).
This she said is primarily in protecting human health and the environment from Persistent Organic Pollutants.
“The political will of this government under President Adama Barrow and the Ministry of NEA and National Resources will work with stakeholders to strengthen their capacities in the sound management of chemicals. This includes training workshops and awareness-raising campaigns’’, she added.
However, Lamin Jaiteh, the registrar of Pesticide and Hazardous Chemical revealed that the sale of unregistered pesticides and illegal importation of pesticides is making their work difficult in identifying hazardous chemicals against human health and the environment.
He, therefore, called on every stakeholder to collaborate with the government in the implementation of Persistent Organic Pollutants in protecting the environment and human health.
Hon Fatou Cham of Senimentereng who also doubled as a member of the Trade and Regional Integration Committee advised women to avoid using hazardous creams, drugs, and pesticides that affect human health and the environment.