Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kogi State I welcome you all to this interactive session on the need to address the environmental and health impacts associated to the application of chemicals for fumigation and disposal of Personal Protective Equipment(PPE).
The issue of Covid-19 pandemic as we all know today, represents a global public health emergency as the number of new cases keep increasing on daily basis, as at today being 23rd April,2020, NCDC updated the following figures of Covid-19 as thus: Worldwide confirmed cases 2,626,527, recovered 784,986, deaths 183,424 and in Nigeria confirmed cases 873, recovered 197 and deaths 28. This is becoming worrisome, because even though Kogi State is yet to record any case, almost all the surrounding states have reported cases of Covid-19 and moreso that Kogi is a transit state as it borders many states, therefore Kogi is highly vulnerable to Covid-19 pandemic.
As an effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Kogi State, the state Government has taken aggressive steps by settling-up response committee which comprises almost all the Ministrieds and relevant stakeholders both from the state and local government level as well as private sectors to develop actionable and implementation plan on Covid-19. The state Government has also established two isolation centres in the state capital which has been furnished with health equipment, a special structure is on ground to work in synergy with the National and International team on Covid-19 in case of any outbreak in Kogi State.
On the aspect of fumigation, the Ministry of Environment is committed to ensure we embark on mass fumigation during this pandemic, although the date is yet to be communicated, the modalities put in place would include fumigation of all public places which includes schools, banks, parks, stadiums, religion houses, drainages etc. Team of Environmental health officers and fumigators would be deployed to all Local Government Areas in the State to ensure effective implementation of this exercise.
As we plan to embark on this fumigation exercise, it is important we brainstorm on the Environmental and health impacts of chemical applications and poor management of PPE.
Pesticides comes with different poisonous ingredients and formulations. The mechanism of chemical reactions led to contact and residual effects on the organism or materials upon which it is applied. Therefore it is important we prevent human contact with this dangerous chemicals to avoid hazards. Chemical can also contaminate plants and vegetables such as fruits, cause underground water pollution like well-waters and also dangerous to domestic animals. Therefore, its important we take appropriate measures to prevent pesticides contamination. The use of Personal Protective Equipment for fumigation is very important especially to the fumigators and it’s also important we ensure proper handling of PPE after it has been used for fumigation to prevent further contamination.
Hon. Victor Adewale Omofaiye
Commissioner of Environment, Kogi State.