STAKEHOLDERS COMMITS TO WORK TOGETHER IN ACHIEVING LEAD PAINT STANDARDS, REGULATION AND LAW IN THE GAMBIA

BY : JOE BONGAY 

On 23rd October, 2019 , Young Volunteers for the Environment- Gambia and other stakeholders at the National Environment Agency Meeting Room commits to work together toward the elimination of lead paint in The Gambia.
The National Stakeholder Awareness Forum in commemorating the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week 2019 was organised by Young Volunteers for the Environment in partnership with the National Environment (NEA), The Gambia Standard Bureau and the Ministry of Health to learn about the effects of lead chemicals , develop innovative strategies and sustainable solutions to address some of the most pressing challenges on lead paint dangers, controls and elimination in The Gambia.
The event was participated by key stakeholders from Government , Private sectors, Media ,Paint dealers , NGOs, among others in discussion and develop common strategies and plans that support policy dialogue and advocacy to better strengthen political commitment to address and integrate lead in paint phase out plans into national development frameworks.
Stakeholders gained better understanding and recognized that lead exposure is detrimental to human health, especially for children whose developing brains are particularly delicate to the toxic effects of lead and the need to urgently address the issue as a country.
Furthermore, participants gained deep understanding and wider information on lead paint which is a major but preventable source of lead exposure. When used to decorate homes, schools, playgrounds and toys, lead paint can peel and deteriorate over time contaminating the surroundings and exposing children to lead in dust, soil or paint chips through normal hand-to-mouth behavior. When lead paint is produced or painted surfaces handled, workers are at high risk of harmful exposure.
The event ended with signing of the Stakeholders’ Declaration of Unity toward Banning Lead Paint in The Gambia by stakeholders and they commits to continuing national collaboration toward the elimination of lead paint in The Gambia.
“As we engage for a cleaner and healthier Gambia, we would continue to support and count on the commitment of our government to immediately draft a regulation that will be added to the existing Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides Management Act that will ban the manufacture, import, export, distribution, sale and use of paints that contain total lead concentrations exceeding 90 ppm. “said Isatou Ndow , Board Chairperson of YVE. The event ended with signing of the Stakeholders’ Declaration of  Commitment to phase out Lead in Paints by Stakeholders present .
#ILPPW2019
#BanLeadPaint
#LeadFreePaintGambia
@IPEN, @joebongay @UNEP , @Gambia , @UNDP

Exposure to Lead Paint Harmful To Health YVE Executive Director

By Nelson Manneh

PaintJoe Bongay, Executive Director of Young Volunteers for the Environment (YVE), said lead in paint, poses a significant and damaging health effect on humans, especially the young and most vulnerable ones of society; that due to the harmful effects of Lead, this affects brain formation and the nervous system at a tender age of their growth, and the health effects can generally have a lifelong impact on these children. Mr. Bongay made these and other statements in a press conference held at the YVE main office in Churchill’s town.

Speaking to the press, Bongay said Lead poisoning has emerged as a global concern in 2009, when the Second Session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM2), approved a resolution on its effects and causes; that the determination mapped out and endorsed a global partnership to promote the phasing out of the use of Lead in paints.

“The World Health Organization ranks Lead as one of the top ten environmental health threats globally. Lead paint exposure causes different mental and physical impairments such as reduced IQ, learning infirmities, hypertension, seizures, muscle weakness and growth delays,” he said.

The executive director YVE added that eradicating Lead paint will meaningfully reduce the dangers of Lead exposure particularly to the most vulnerable, and thus reduce the risk of human health due to Lead in The Gambia. Despite the hazardous effects of lead poisoning, Mr. Bongay said only 36 percent of countries have legally banned the use of Lead paint according to the 2016 UNEP gathering; that this suggests that improvement needs to be done in order to achieve the target on time. “We are working with other partners to ensure that the issue of Lead paint, becomes a thing of the past. It is targeted globally that by 2020, all countries will adopt Lead control measures,” he said.

The goal of IPEN’s Global Lead Paint Elimination Project according to Mr. Bongay, is to end the manufacture, sale and use of Lead paint in countries with a priority focus on decorative paints and other coats likely to cause Lead exposure in children.

Ejatou Jaiteh, the Communications Officer YVE, said they have gone through several tests on Lead paints to know the numerous effects it causes to society.

“As far as the environment is concerned, our priority is to make sure that society is free from harmful substances,” she said.

Jaiteh said they have already conducted tests and will make sure that the results reach every individual.

6th Annual General Meeting 2017 – YVE The Gambia

Young Volunteers for the Environment held their 6th Annual General Meeting today (5 August 2017) at SYDO head office in Kanifing. This occasion was graced by the Board, staff, and members of the organization, the media and colleagues to assess the 2016 activities and financial reports of the organization and address the challenges of the organization for a better work-plan and output. Both financial and activity reports were adopted by the General Assembly. in addition to that, recommendations were given by the GA as to the development of the organization in terms of projects planing and implementation, visibility, governance, finance, etc. Congratulations to the whole organization. We are proud of our Board and all of our members.
Change is a process and with the continuous support of the entire team and interested members we will take YVE-The Gambia to the next level and the achievement of the SDGs will be possible.
#ForASustainableEnvironment
#ForUs
#ChangeIsAProcess

#yvegambia

Report by: Ejatou Jaiteh

Communications and Volunteer Officer