Jackalas 2 — Batswana have been asked to recycle waste instead of burning it as the move can cause respiratory diseases.
The call was made by Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism deputy permanent secretary Dr Oduetse Koboto during World Environment Day commemoration in Jackalas No. 2 on June 5.
Dr Koboto noted that air pollution killed millions of people worldwide which could be avoided if people adopted conservation measures.
Botswana, he said, had since 1993 commemorated the day which was aimed at educating and raising awareness on issues that depleted the environment as well as measures that could be taken to address the situation.
He said this year's theme, "Together we can beat air pollution", challenged everyone to join forces towards ending air pollution to protect and conserve the environment.
Dr Koboto explained that air pollution depleted the ozone layer which in turn caused climate change which had become a scourge to the rest of the world.
Climate change had brought harsh weather conditions such as high and very low temperatures and drought, he said.
He said if air pollution was not addressed immediately, it would continue to cause harm to the environment and all living organisms.
The deputy permanent secretary stressed that the world should adopt green technology and the use of renewable energy in order to tackle air pollution.
He observed that Botswana was increasingly becoming industrialised which resulted in the increase of gas emissions which was why the country had signed international protocols such as the Paris and climate change agreements.
Dr Koboto said mining activities, construction, manufacturing and vehicle gas emissions largely contributed to air pollution as they emitted nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide gases among others.
It was therefore key for ambient air quality to be monitored, he said, adding that Botswana had so far installed 16 air quality monitoring stations across the country.
Dr Koboto said Jackals No. 2 was fortunate to have hosted the event as it also received an air quality monitoring station.
Presenting on ambient air quality, the deputy director in the Department of Waste Management and Pollution Control, Mr Frank Molaletsi said air pollution was mostly caused by people through burning litter and failure to service their vehicles.
He said every type of gas, whether household or factory, polluted the air to a certain extent which then caused diseases which were not immediately detectable.
Mr Molaletsi concurred that waste be recycled instead of being burnt saying air pollution was a silent killer because its repercussions might not be noticeable but in the long run people suffered from respiratory diseases.
In his closing remarks, area councillor, Mr Bakani Badzili encouraged attendants to take the messages of the day seriously and apply them to their daily lives.
He noted that Jackalas No. 2 was one of the cleanliest villages in Botswana as residents took conservation seriously.
Mr Badzili thanked the ministry for the air pollution monitor that would be installed in the village saying it would be a huge milestone for Jackalas No.2.
He promised that residents would continue to practice safe environment ethics to keep the air free from pollution.
The ministry awarded certificates to outstanding learners of Jackals No. 2, Tsamaya, Siviya, Jackalas No. 1, Mabudzane, Senyawe, Ramokgwebana and Tshesebe Primary Schools for participating in the essay writing and quiz competition.
Source : BOPA