Agricultural Pesticides Increase Rate of Productivity and Death

National Yemen

People Spraying Agricultural Pesticides on Plants

By: NY Staff

While the use of agricultural pesticides has increased in recent years, so have the risks in using them. Pesticides are known to be highly effective in killing plants, insects, animals, but Yemeni authorities have largely ignored their effects on humans.

Agricultural pesticides are prevalent in Yemen and are openly sold in the different stores and warehouses throughout the country.

Chairman of Environmental Diseases Division Dr. Abdulmalik Qaed said that pesticides reach the soil through different ways including direct spraying, disposing the containers and residues of pesticides, and pouring them to the containers. According to him, 90% of the effects of pesticides reach unintended targets in the surrounding environment.

In Yemen, not surprisingly, pesticides are heavily used to grow Qat and bring about large risks for Qat farmers. Currently, Qat farmers use one of five deadly pesticides. According to recently completed studies, these pesticides are a reason for many cancers found in the small intestine, thyroid, kidneys and gums.

Studies also show that percentage of toxicity in the blood of Qat farmers is dangerously high and is a direct result from their pesticide use. Qat farmers and chewers wrongly believe that washing Qat leaves with water and salt is sufficient for getting rid of the effects of these pesticides. Men, women, girls, boys and children are affected and congenital malformations are on increase in the Yemeni society.

Concerned authorities should take responsibility for this dangerous topic and work to eliminate the use of dangerous pesticides in Yemen.