[www.inewsguyana.com] – As part of the mandate to ensure that illegal toxic chemicals are stored properly before they are disposed of, the Chemicals Storage Facility was officially commissioned on November 9, 2015.
The facility is being housed in the compound of the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI). The Pesticide and Toxic Chemical Control Board (PTCCB) has been emphasizing the need for proper storage facility to house the many illegal pesticides entering Guyana.
According to the Government Information Agency (GINA), the facility was completed in July of 2015 at a cost of GUY $46M. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) currently has a project running to get rid of illegal chemicals across the region.
While delivering remarks at the ceremony, FAO representative to Guyana, Mr Rueben Robertson stated that the FAO continuously seeks to assist member countries of CARICOM with the putting together and proper storage of obsolete chemicals.
“We consider the challenges faced by each member state of CARICOM by ensuring the proper registration, storage, use and distribution of these chemicals” Mr. Rueben Robertson said.
He also stressed the point of the need for more education and promotion of the proper use of pesticides as this is only done during pesticides week. He stated that “it is moral responsibility to inform our fellow man on the harmful effects of toxic chemicals.”
During his address, Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder stated that the use of toxic pesticides to manage pest problems has become a common practice around the world.
“Pesticides have been linked to a wide range of human health illnesses, ranging from short-term impacts such as headaches and nausea, to chronic impacts like cancer, cognitive disorders, reproductive harm, and endocrine disruption. It is important to note that these health impacts are inherently linked to use practices” said Minister Holder.
It was also highlighted that very little was done to educate persons responsible for treating those who would have ingested or been exposed to these toxic chemicals as well as the availability of antidotes to effectively treat these persons.
The FAO is currently working with the Government of Guyana and the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board to have train exercises conducted so that persons have the needed skills to treat persons who would have ingested or be exposed to toxic chemicals. This is one of the many initiatives being put in place to address to issues being faced by Guyanese as it relates to the importation of illegal chemicals and the improper use of other toxins.