NEA Calls for Action against Ozone Depletion
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Calling on behalf of the Executive Director of the National Environment Agency, the Director of Technical Services Network said there is a 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 made this remark at the opening of yet another training workshop for refrigeration technicians recently held in Brikama for technicians in the West Coast Region.
He said the Gambia government, showing her firm commitment, ratified both the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer.
This five-day training workshop for refrigeration technicians was on refrigeration techniques, refrigerant handling, retrofitting, recovering and recycling.
He told participants that 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.
According to the NEA Technical Services Director, at the end of the training, participants were expected to understand what ozone and ozone depletion is all about and why they must join the rest of the world to protect the ozone layer by phasing out CFCs.
He said that the continuous emission of Chloro-Fluoro-Carbons (CFCs), Methyl Bromide and Halons would deplete the ozone layer and this would result in more severe environmental and health problems.
He therefore called for attitudinal change, especially the technicians who have direct contact with these depleting refrigerants. Recognising 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 Officer at the National Environment Agency, 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 causes havoc on human, plants and animal lives.
The impacts on humans include: eye cataracts, skin cancer, drop in crop yields and destruction of aquatic food chain, he pointed out.
Badjie revealed further that this training for refrigeration technicians was one of the series conducted in all the regions in the country towards meeting the Gambia’s international obligations in phasing out the consumption of ODS.
Appealing to participants to use environmentally, friendly activities and devices to avoid leakages of the 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 ODS expert said: “ The Gambia has also ratified the Copenhagen and London Amendments to the Montreal Protocol in 1992 and 1995 respectively.” He tasked the participants to disseminate their knowledge and skills gained to others who did not have the opportunity to attend.
Author: Sheikh Alkinky Sanyang NEA