My unforgettable and endless lessons and journey in WWFSince I was working with the environmental hazards program my main work was doing research on the different issues concerning hazardous chemicals in Africa. The program wanted to hire a consultant who was going to do training on illegal trafficking of hazardous chemicals on the African boarders and ports. This training was supposed to be for different stakeholders (Judges, Interpol, border officials, etc). Part of the report on illegal trafficking of chemicals included checking the main ports through which these chemicals enter Africa and the methods that have been applied. The report also included stakeholders that are thought to be playing a part in fighting chemical trade crime and also the international efforts to reduce/stop this type of trade and also what the countries has done to address such issues. Apart from looking at the different illegal ways through which chemicals are being transported I also had a look at the possible concepts that the training should cover and the possible resources used.
With the FAO Code of Conduct on the use and distribution of pesticides research was done to find out countries in Africa that have adopted the code, the areas of weakness in adopting the code, challenges experienced by countries in implementing the code and gaps and areas where further work is required. Incinerators and incinerator operation, contaminated sites and biopesticides in Africa all involved researching on current trends, areas of weakness, challenges, gaps and areas where further work is required and reviewing of existing legislation/regulation on these matters. This research on African issues made me realise how complex environmental issues are and how they cannot be dealt with in isolation. I also learnt that it is through first understanding how a country operates that one can come up with a relevant solution to its problems. A lot of African nations due to poverty and other factors are falling victim of environmental pollution; an example is the case in which e-waste was dumped in Ghana for a certain amount of money. These reports helped me understand the complexity of chemical related issues in Africa and how attention is needed in some parts of the continent. Though a number of African countries are signatories to the different chemical related conventions (Basel, Stockholm, Rotterdam) they continue to defy what these conventions entail and there is need to come up with stricter laws to enforce hazardous waste movement and use.
I also got an opportunity to go to the Rift Valley area of Kenya and Lake Naivasha while there we met a lot of stakeholders in the flower industry who are trying to work towards sustainable development and environmental protection
Chenai Mamvura WWF-ESARPO 2013