Stockpiles of obsolete pesticides seriously are threatening the health of both rural and urban populations in Ethiopia, a study has revealed.
Presenting a study in a relevant conference in Addis Ababa on Tuesday, a researcher from Addis Ababa University Dr. Mesfin Redi said more than 3 000 tonnes of hazardous pesticide waste are stored in more than 1000 sites in Ethiopia, threatening the health of millions of people and polluting the environment.
“The remains of the pesticides are traced in our food and have been causing multiple cases of cancer and deformity of body parts among newly born babies.
According to the researcher, the build-up of pesticides in the country was partly due to excessive donations, insecticides for the control of insects like locusts and army worms. Much of the stock is over 20 years old,” he said.
Poor storage facilities, poor stock management and pesticides in leaking containers that in turn contaminate groundwater and soil are cited as other contributing factors to the problem.
The stockpiles could swell mainly is mainly due to poor or absence of disposal system, the study revealed.
Obsolete pesticides are defined as old, banned or no longer identifiable. They probably have decomposed into other chemical components, which are sometimes more toxic than the original pesticide. Most pesticides expire two years after production, meaning they cannot be used unless they are tested and proved stable. Video: