An awareness raising campaign started in Kumsangir rayon, Southern Tajikistan to warn the local population about the environmental and health risks of obsolete pesticides.
A pilot repackaging campaign for obsolete stocks of DDT and associated waste is being prepared for the old pesticides storage facility Anorzor in Kumsangir. The site is prioritized as a hot-spot location in the frame of the project Demonstrating and scaling up sustainable alternatives to DDT for the control of vector borne diseases in Southern Caucasus and Central Asia (DDT Project).
Awareness raising activities are carried out by the Kumsangir Arhus center NGO “Mochi munir” in cooperation with Milieukontakt. Due to poverty and a lack of awareness of the health risks from obsolete pesticides, local people in Tajikistan have been using DDT from different storage facilities and burial sites in the country.
Mochi munir is visiting farmers in 10 villages with instructions on how to avoid further risks by not using the DDT and by restricting children to play near the polluted sites. The organisation is issuing information brochures and setting up round table conferences with local authorities close to the polluted site. According to Mochi munir’s director Ziyoda Ashurova ‘women are a priority contact in communities in order to get the message through. If they understand the risks, women will make sure that their men and children will behave responsibly.’
Milieukontakt and Green Cross Switzerland are implementing the DDT Project in the region for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).