WINDHOEK: Namibia, like many other African countries, is lagging behind with the implementation of agreements to handle and manage hazardous chemicals and pollutants.
The Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism (MET), Pohamba Shifeta, raised this concern during a three-day regional workshop on chemicals’ legislation and chemicals management for African countries by the Africa Institute for Environmentally-Sound Management of Hazardous and Other Wastes here today.
He said Namibia faces challenges in many areas such as inadequate management capacity; inadequate legislative and regulatory systems; the overlapping and sometimes conflicting responsibilities between governmental institutions; and skills and capacity constraints.
Shifeta said with the standard of living on the rise, there is also a boom in consumerism.
This means an increase in the sales of cosmetics, detergents and battery-based products, and these can pose major risks to both human and environment health.
He emphasised that while nations must welcome the positive role that many of these developments play in terms of generating employment and economic growth, they should remain aware of the need to minimise the harmful effects of products on the environment, water, soil and air.