#Article (Archive)

NEA calls for holistic approach towards ozone depletion

Jul 30, 2012, 1:25 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The director of Technical Services Network at the National Environment Agency (NEA), has said there is need for a holistic approach from all walks of life in The Gambia to phase out the consumption and production of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS).

Momodou Kanteh, who made this remark at the opening of yet another training workshop for refrigeration technicians recently in Brikama for technicians in the West Coast Region, said the Gambia government is showing firm commitment in tackling ODS, as it has ratified both the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol on substances that depletes the ozone layer.

These five-day training workshop looked at refrigeration techniques, refrigerant handling, retrofitting, recovering and recycling.

“The ozone layer is the primary protection the earth has from the harmful rays of the sun, and its depletion has an adverse effects on human and animal health, marine and terrestrial eco-systems and can cause diseases such as skin cancer, eye cataract, and the destruction of the immune system.” Mr Kanteh said.

The NEA technical director said the training was also held for participants to clearly understand what ozone and ozone depletion is all about as well as understand the reason why they must join the rest of the world to protect the ozone layer by phasing out CFCs.

“The continuous emission of Chloro-Fluoro-Carbons (CFCs), Methyl Bromide and Halons would deplete the ozone layer and this will result to more severe environmental and health problems,” he said, while calling for attitudinal change, especially technicians who have direct contact with depleting refrigerants.

Recognizing the vulnerability of human beings, Flora and Fauna to ODS, he said it is everyone’s duty to join the fight against ozone depletion.

Samba Baji, ODS programme officers at the NEA, said the importance of the ozone layer is the role it plays in reducing the harmful radiation from the sun reaching the earth’s surface that caused havoc and great impact on human, plants and animal lives.

The impacts on human include eye cataracts, skin cancer, drop in crop yields and destruction of aquatic food chain, he pointed out.

Appealing to participants to use environmentally friendly activities and devices to avoid leakages of refrigerants, Baji pointed out that the regional trainings that are being conducted are intended to strengthen the capacity of refrigeration technicians in the country.

The Gambia has also ratified the Copenhagen and London Amendments to the Montreal Protocol in 1992 and 1995 respectively.