Chemicals May Soon Affect the Fish in Lake Victoria And Such Scenes May
Be No More
New Vision (Kampala)
September 5, 2005
Posted to the web September 5, 2005
By Vision Reporter
UGANDA is still applying globally outlawed chemicals that endanger
health and the environment, a new report says.
Speaking recently at a ceremony where a report on fish and water
monitoring was presented, experts said they had detected deadly chemicals
including DDT in water collected from Lake Victoria.
However, the chemicals were still missing in fish, which earns the
country export revenue amounting to $100m, state the reports compiled
after monitoring the lake for about a decade.
"A number of banned agro chlorinated pesticides such as DDT, endosulfan,
dieldrin and lindane were detected in the air showing that they may still
be in use," said the report in part.
The chemicals are listed under the Stockholm Convention as the dirty
dozen because they persist in the environment and threaten human health.
They are also known as Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). They are
toxic to humans and wildlife.
Patrick Kamanda, an environment inspector from the National Environment
Management Authority (NEMA) said global concern had been raised because
POPs move far from the point of application. Kamanda said under the
Convention government has obligations to take measures to eliminate or
reduce the release of POPs into the environment.
He said activities would be undertaken under the Global Environment
Facility executed by the United Nations Environment Programme and
implemented by NEMA.
Sources say chemicals, blamed for causing cancer including DDT are
smuggled into Uganda from other countries including Tanzania and Ethiopia.
Some of the chemicals, sources said, are disguised under pseudo names
and end up in agro chemical outlets.
"Many restricted chemicals are being used by untrained persons while
adulteration is common," the report said.
The chemicals including DDT were widely applied as pesticides in the
1960s, but this stopped when the US banned them on grounds that they
contaminate the environment.