NEA validates draft 2019 Chemicals, Pesticides Control and Management Bill

Friday, April 26, 2019

National Environment Agency (NEA), Wednesday validated the 2019 draft chemicals and pesticides control and management bill at a local hotel in Bijilo.

The day long validation gathering seeks expert opinions and inputs to finalise the document.

Sheikh Alkinky Sanyang, NEA’s communication officer said the document has been in existence for the past two decades, adding that there are lot of risks when it comes to chemicals and pesticides for the past years. “It is disheartened to mention that the Ramadan is approaching and the vast use of chemicals on horticultural gardens will be high and this will have an effect on our health,” he said.

Mr. Sanyang emphasised that most of the gardeners buy unlabelled chemicals and pesticides and apply them on their crops which will be sold in the markets and eventually end on dining tables.

Dr. Dawda Badjie from the Agency’s technical service network said Government of The Gambia ratifies the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in June 2003 which is a global treaty signed by 181 parties.

He explained that the Persistent Organic Pollutant (POPs) are groups of synthetic organic chemicals which are very persistent, toxic, bio-accumulative and can travel far within the environment. “They cause acute detriment and long term effects on human health, wildlife and the environment we live in,” he stated.

He said the Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticide Control and Management Act (HCPCMA) 1994 was developed prior to the adoption of the Stockholm Convention, saying that the Act has aged for long, bringing the need for it to be revised in order to strengthen the national legal capacity towards chemicals management and control.

Dr. Badjie further acknowledged that the 1994 HCPCMA was reviewed and updated and subjected to various stakeholder consultations at national and regional levels to obtain comments and expert opinions of various relevant stakeholders.

Author: Fatou B. Cham