Waste management strategy for toxic-free environment soon
State Minister for Environment and Forest Mustafizur Rahman said the government is going to develop a strategy soon for sustainable waste management to keep the environment toxic-free.
“After consulting with industry owners or representatives of concerned organisations, we will adopt a comprehensive strategy soon for waste management to keep the environment toxic-free,” he added.
Replying to a query from reporters, the minister said this after attending a workshop on 'Chemical safety of food and agricultural sector in Bangladesh' organised by Environment and Social Development Organisation (ESDO) at WVA auditorium in the city.
Speaking as the chief guest, he also stressed the need for coordination between private and public organisations to develop food quality and safety as well as to control the use of toxic chemicals and persistent pesticides achieving sound management of chemicals by 2020.
Presenting a keynote paper, ESDO Secretary General Hossain Shahriar said almost 85 to 98 percent out of over 150 million population is under threat by toxic chemicals in the country due to rampant use of the chemicals in food items.
“Chemical fertiliser and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) like DDT is being widely used for dry fish processing and preservation, toxic colours and artificial sweeteners are injected into fruits,” he said, adding that intake of those poisonous fruits or vegetables might cause diarrhoea, dysentery, hearing loss, visual impairment and even deadly cancer.
Taking part in the discussion, Biological and Chemical Societies President Prof Abu Jafar Mahmood said the government should take stern action against those who are importing and misusing chemicals by violating import policy.
He also underscored the importance of regulatory measures, coordination between different working groups and creating mass awareness of the issue to overcome the crisis.
Speakers at the workshop highlighted environmental infrastructure, improved technical measures and better enforcement of existing regulations, better education and training to tackle the situation.
They said the government should put environment and public health issues at the top of the agenda for policymaking.
With Bangladesh-Australia Centre for Environmental Research Director Dr SM Imamul Huq in the chair, the programme was also addressed by Prof Dr Nazmul Ahsan Kalimullah and Dr Monjur-A-Chowdhury.