May 30, 2008

Obsolete Pesticides in Nigeria

The Banquet Hall of the Hill station Hotel Jos on the 8th May, 2008 hosted a sensitization lecture to farmers regarding the need for caution in handling obsolete pesticides.
In simple terms, pesticides are chemicals used to kill and control pests. They are actually diluted forms of concentrated chemicals.
In dilute forms they kill pests but not man. The accumulated effects on man and environment over time are however, harmful. In view of the harmful nature of pesticides when not handled properly, it is advisable that the right quantity needed is purchased and used without living stocks. Reckless purchase does however end up in large quantities of unused chemicals. These are the category usually referred to as obsolete pesticides.
Though pesticides are diluted chemicals, long exposure of man and the environment to the chemicals leads to accumulated effects that can be harmful to the environment and generations yet unborn. The Koko experience in Delta sate is still fresh in the minds of Nigerians. Recently a goat was born with nine legs in Adamawa state. This is not to mention the almost regular reports of people dying as a result of eating contaminated foods. All this underscores the significance of the workshop.
To minimize chances of becoming a victim to the deleterious effects of obsolete chemicals, one needs to know ways by which he can come into contact with the varieties of pests killers. Exposure can be during application or working with the chemicals, using contaminated food or water, inhaling the dust or fumes in the air, smoking while handling the chemicals. Eating contaminated meat and so on.
Workshops such as these usually end up as mere intellectual exercises for the resource persons. In this very workshop it is doubtful to say that the farmers were well represented. Our farmers are usually uneducated village people. Of the less than a hundred people who gathered in the Banquet Hall of Hill Station Hotel for the workshop, a large percentage was journalists and support-personnel. Billy Achara, a resource person from Alpha Chemicals Limited, however explained that there was nothing wrong with the composition of he participants which included the press, distributors, stakeholders and a few farmers. He said that their intention is to use the press whose duty is to inform and the stakeholders to spread the message beyond the perimeters of he venue for he workshop.


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