New Project for The Gambia to Phase out Ozone Depleting Substances
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The project lasts until 2020, by which time The Gambia is expected to significantly reduce its consumption of hydrochlorofluorocarbon from the current level of 0.9 tonnes. It followed a project on the phase out of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
According to Momodou B.S Canteh, Director of Technical Services Network, National Environment Agency, the launch of the project is only one of a series of activities towards meeting The Gambia’s international obligations.
He said: “Recognising the vulnerability of human kind and other animal and plant species, and ecosystems to ODS, The Gambia with support from UNEP, and UNIDO has taken strides to implement a number of ODS reduction substances.”
Ozone layer, according to scientific findings, protects the earth from the harmful radiation from the sun. It is important for human survival, plants and other creatures, as it prevent them from diseases such as skin cancer, eye cataract, and destruction of the immune system.
According to Alhagie Sarr, Programme Officer, Ozone Unit, NEA, hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), do not only deplete the ozone layer, but contribute immensely in the warming of the planet.
“These refrigerants are mainly used in our air conditioning systems, in fish processing factories and in hotels as coolants,” he added.
The Gambia signed in 1990 both the Vienna Convention for the Protection of Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the Ozone Layer and also ratified the London Amendments to the Montreal Protocol in 1995.
These moves were followed in 1998 by the creation of a national technical working group, an ODS regulation was also amended in 2002 to control the consumption of the substances.
In recent times, customs officials at border posts have been trained and provided with substance identifiers as part of monitoring and control of ODS. Refrigeration entrepreneurs were also trained and provided with service tool kits, officials confirmed.
Meanwhile, the Hydro ChloroFluoro Carbon Phase out Project is being supported by international agencies.
According to Jeremy Bazye, Ozone Action Regional Coordinator, for Africa, UNEP, the project was being developed by UNDP, but as things evolved, UNEP and UNIDO took over, as existing in other countries.
He said the project was approved based on a request made by The Gambia government, assuring of his office’s support for its successful implementation.
Mr Jeremy emphasised that providing capacity building for all stakeholders is crucial.
Also speaking, Lillian Iti of UNIDO, said her agency is present in the renewal energy and agriculture sectors in The Gambia.With this new project, she said “UNIDO will provide tools and equipment and incentives for end users.”