The National Environmnet Agency NEA recently embarked on a nationwide sensitisation tour of radio stations, in an effort to spread the gospel of ozone depletion that has posed 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.
Samba Baji, the Programme Officer for the Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) at the National Environment Agency (NEA), who went on the tour, said The Gambia government has shown firm commitment to phase out the consumption of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS), by ratifying both the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol.
Speaking at Farafenni Paradise FM, Bansang Community Radio and Basse Unique FM -radio stations, respectively, Baji disclosed that the continuous emission of Chloro-Fluoro-Carbons (CFCs), Halons, Methyl Bromide and Chloroforms would deplete the ozone layer, thus resulting in more severe environmental and health problems.
Recognizing the vulnerability of human beings, flora and fauna to ODS, the NEA Programme Officer said his office and the government of The Gambia have over the years taken giants steps towards the reduction and ultimate elimination of ODS, through a number of measures. These, he said, include the setting up of Regional Refrigeration Technicians Associations, throughout the country.
Baji further disclosed that a similar training has been held for security personnel (Customs, police, soldiers, Immigration, NIA, Fire service) throughout the country on the identification of refrigerants, how to operate the refrigerant tester and tactics in controlling illegal trade in refrigerants. He then called on colleagues in the security fraternity to lead the fight against the smuggling and illegal entry of depleting substances into the country.
Sheikh Alkinky Sanyang NEA's Environmental Education Officer, who said nature is at conflict with mankind, appealedto all Gambians to use environmentally-friendly activities and devices to make the planet earth the only suitable and lasting home for generations yet unborn.
Sanyang also revealed that "a series of sensitisation and awareness programmes have been an ongoing exercise at or with the television, radios, newspapers, traditional communicators, focus group discussions and the printing of T-Shirts."
He finally appealed to the public to shift to the use of zone friendly products, especially household products like air conditioners, fridges and freezers.