British pound climbs as government makes U-turn on tax cut plan    Egypt's net foreign assets decline again to reach $925 million in August    Turkey's inflation jumps to 83% highest level in nearly in 24 years    Egypt's FM heads to Congo Today to attend PRECOP27 conference    King Charles III won't attend COP27 in Egypt, following PM Truss advice    Swedish coastguard says: Fourth leak discovered on Nord Stream pipelines    Egyptian gecko invades Israel    Egypt welcomes back Russian flights on 1st October    Egypt launches 200 Years of Continuing Science tourism campaign    Egypt, UAE partner on sustainable waste management in Sharm el-Sheikh ahead of COP27    QNB Group names TikToker Khaby Lame official FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 brand ambassador    Three possible scenarios as Egypt's central bank governor resigns – MP    Adele is living a love story, wants to be a homemaker    In Photos: Egypt swears in 13 new ministers after major Cabinet reshuffle    Egypt's Sisi names 13 ministers in Cabinet reshuffle    Spain: prosecutor seeks 8 years sentence for Shakira over tax evasion    Egypt: Alamein Art Festival kicks off a collection of recycled installations    Egypt's athlete Basma Emad wins bronze in weightlifting in Mediterranean Games    Maha karara joins AAIB as Head of Corporate Communications, Sustainability    Egypt works on charting cooperation strategies with international institutions for 5 years: Al-Mashat    Over 2.4 million newborns examined for hearing impairment: Health Ministry    Netflix releases trailer of Arab adaption of 'Perfect Strangers' film    Balqees to headline concert celebrating launch of streaming giant LIVENow in MENA    Sawsan Badr to be honoured at Aswan Women Film Festival    MP Abdel Hady Al-Qasby calls government to facilitate and support NGOs    Al-Sisi follows up on 'Great Transfiguration Project' in St. Catherine    Cairo, London stress need to strengthen cooperation to face climate change    Foreigners account for 22.6% of Egypt's T-bills issuances in 1H 2021: CBE    Egypt's ambassador to Italy passes away    Egypt confirms readiness to help African countries face terrorism and extremism    An estimated 235 million people needed humanitarian assistance and protection in 2021, an increase of 40% compared to 2020: IOM Egypt    Egypt, DRC discuss water cooperation during WYF    Egypt, DR Congo discuss boosting bilateral cooperation during WYF    Cameroonian police probe assault on three Algerian journalists covering AFCON    Pharaohs start AFCON 2021 campaign with fierce clash against Nigeria    Foreign Ministry opens capacity building course for French-speaking African diplomats    Russia says it's in sync with US, China, Pakistan on Taliban    It's a bit frustrating to draw at home: Real Madrid keeper after Villarreal game    Shoukry reviews with Guterres Egypt's efforts to achieve SDGs, promote human rights    Sudan says countries must cooperate on vaccines    Johnson & Johnson: Second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19    Egypt to tax bloggers, YouTubers    Egypt's FM asserts importance of stability in Libya, holding elections as scheduled    We mustn't lose touch: Muller after Bayern win in Bundesliga    Egypt records 36 new deaths from Covid-19, highest since mid June    Egypt sells $3 bln US-dollar dominated eurobonds    Gamal Hanafy's ceramic exhibition at Gezira Arts Centre is a must go    Italian Institute Director Davide Scalmani presents activities of the Cairo Institute for ITALIANA.IT platform    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



Working against ‘forever chemicals'
Published in Ahram Online on 10 - 03 - 2020

Residents of Giza's Saff district now have cleaner air after the Ministry of Environment, through a project for the sustainable management of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), sometimes known as “forever chemicals”, removed 470 tons of hazardous pesticides from the residential district.
The pesticides had been stored in a warehouse in Giza. Along with the waste resulting from transporting the pesticides. The dangerous materials were taken to Sweden and France, two countries possessing the latest technologies to get rid of hazardous waste.
POPs have been the cause of the Ministry of Environment's ire since 2004, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) have often warned of the dangers of POPs to human health in the long term.
The ministry's plan to get rid of POPs in Egypt started when the government signed the Stockholm Accord in 2004. This led to a project for the integrated management of POPs funded by the Global Environmental Innovation Fund (GEIF) and implemented by the World Bank to improve institutional and technical capacities for environmental management and the establishment of an integrated system of POPs management to maintain public health and achieve sustainable development.
The ministries of the environment and agriculture had earlier put the POPs together in one place in preparation for their safe disposal in accordance with international standards. “For 30 years, POPs have been a ticking bomb. That we have now disposed of them is proof that we can manage the problem of managing solid waste,” said the Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad.
Fouad reviewed ministry efforts to safely dispose of hazardous waste, saying that it is currently working on a strategy for the integrated management of hazardous waste and the implementation of Egypt's obligations under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.
“The ministry is also working to raise people's awareness as they are key partners in efforts to preserve the environment. In the near future, the ministry will launch an e-waste management strategy,” she added.
The Ministry of Environment is cooperating with multiple bodies on the subject. “The ministry is coordinating with the Ministry of Communications to dispose of e-waste, with the Ministry of Health to get rid of medical waste, with the Ministry of Electricity to get rid of waste from power transformers, and with the Ministry of Agriculture to dispose of pesticides,” Fouad said.
These efforts do not only aim at abiding by international regulations, said the minister, who emphasised that the priority was to protect people's health.
Ahmed Abdel-Hamid, manager of the project for the sustainable management of POPs, said it had studied the environmental characteristics of the Giza area and analysed samples of groundwater, soil and air in the warehouse and surrounding areas. Technicians were trained to deal with the disposal of POPs, and POPs in storage were placed in special bags and barrels marked with the United Nations seal, meaning the international body's standards were followed in disposal procedures, he said.
The project sought the assistance of international companies and experts on POPs through the announcement of a tender, as per the regulations of the World Bank, which has been supervising the project.
Abdel-Hamid said “workers were trained theoretically and in practice on how to deal with liquid and solid waste. They were provided with the gear necessary for their safety before we embarked on the project.”
Legal measures were taken and permits acquired to transfer the Giza cargo out of Egypt to be burnt in high-tech furnaces in Sweden and France. In total, “the project has succeeded in safely disposing of more than 690 tons of pesticides and hazardous waste in addition to 220 tons stored in the Al-Adabiya Port in Suez after it had arrived in Egypt in an anonymous transit shipment.”
The project is still working on the collection and safe disposal of 350 tons of pesticides, which are dangerous and stored in several areas. It is also working on the safe disposal and treatment of electricity transformer oils contaminated with PCBs, considered by the Stockholm Convention to be a dangerous substance.
“The projected has collected 1,000 tons of PCBs and is currently trying to bring mobile units to either treat the PCBs or get rid of the material safely,” Abdel-Hamid said.
Mohamed Abdel-Meguid, chairman of the Pesticides Committee at the Ministry of Agriculture, said Egypt had stopped importing PCBs since 1972. However, as a result of their accumulation over the years, it was necessary to dispose of what had been imported before that safely.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 12 March, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly


Clic here to read the story from its source.