Port authorities, small scale industrial enterprises, workshops, garages and small production units have been cautioned to be extra careful when carrying out their activities in order to protect humans and the environment from Persistent Organic pollutants (POPs).
The caution was made yesterday by Dr Julius Ningu, Director of Environment, Vice President’s Office at the ongoing workshop on Capacity Building in Controlling and Managing Hazardous Chemicals and Wastes.
One of the most difficult environmental challenges the world is facing today is the generation of hazardous wastes in large quantities which go with complex chemical structures with negative impacts to humans, it was revealed.
Due to this fact the spectra of hazardous wastes needs to be given special attention.
Also generation of hazardous waste is not confined to large-scale industries, according to him. Small scale industrial enterprises, tiny workshops, garages and small production units collectively produce large and diverse quantities of hazardous wastes, he said.
Transport services, hospitals, research laboratories, public buildings, military establishments, mining processes, ship repairs, obsolete pesticides and industrial chemicals and hospital wastes are often sources of hazardous wastes, he said.
These need to be managed properly to minimise their impacts to human health and the environment, he noted.
Presently the poor in developing countries are at higher risk to various forms of contamination from hazardous wastes, he said, adding that such exposures often lead to chronic or acute diseases and often interfere with economic activities and thus aggravate the poverty levels.
"Due to this impediment there is need to encourage NGOs to support Environmental Sound Manner (ESM) of hazardous and other wastes at the local level as well as strengthen partnerships with civil societies and private sector in support of environmentally sound management through integrated waste management activities which complement government efforts and the Basel Convention on Regional Training and Technology Transfer Centres (BCRCs) programmes,” he said.
“As experts engaged in this sector we have decided to provide capacity building to control and manage hazardous chemicals and wastes especially to workers from various field of work,” he said.
The participants were from the ministries of Transport, Infrastructure Development, Industry and Trade, Health and Social Welfare, Ports authorities, Chief Government Chemist Laboratory and Surface and Marine Transport Agency.