Programme Officer for Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) unit of the National Environment Agency (NEA) has said that the Gambia Government has shown her firm commitment to phase out the consumption of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) by ratifying both the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol.
Samba Baji made these remarks during a nationwide sensitization 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. Speaking at Farafenni Paradise FM, Bansang community radio and Basse Unique FM -radio stations, Baji said the Ozone layer is the primary protection the earth has from the harmful Ultra-Violet Radiation from the sun.
Furthermore, he disclosed that the continuous emission of Chloro-Fluoro-Carbons (CFCs), Halons, Methyl Bromide and Chloroforms would deplete the ozone layer and this will result to more severe environmental and health problems.
Recognizing the vulnerability of human beings, the Flora and Fauna to ODS, the NEA Programme Officer said his office and the Government of the Gambia has over the years taken giants steps towards the reduction and ultimate elimination of ODS through a number of measures, and these includes the setting up of Regional Refrigeration Technicians Associations throughout the country and trained them on identification of refrigerants, resource mobilization, recovery and retrofitting of refrigerants.
Baji further disclosed that a similar training has been organizised 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 therefore called on colleagues in the security fraternity to lead the fight against the smuggling and illegal entry of these depleting substances into the country.
He also noted that numerous trainings that aim to strengthen the capacity of enforcement agents to enhance proper identification and detection of ODS at our boarder points of entry or during circulation has been conducted in all the regions.
Sheikh Alkinky Sanyang NEA`s Environmental Education Officer said that nature is at conflict with mankind, and therefore appealed to all Gambians to use environmentally friendly devices to make the planet a suitable and a lasting home for generation not yet born.
He said his agency organizes an annual quiz and essay writing competition on the protection of the ozone layer for Gambian school children. Sanyang also revealed that series of sensitization and awareness programmes has been an ongoing exercise.
The CRR Regional Environment officer Fafanding Kinteh call for active participation in ozone awareness activities and to take ownership of the protection of the ozone layer in particular and the environment in general.