Local News

Illegal Pesticide Disposal Threatens Neighborhood

National Yemen

An ancient courtyard, sana’a

By NY Staff

A strange smell recently emerged from a Sana’a neighborhood, leading policemen to discover a huge stash of agricultural pesticide buried in a deep hole in the ground near a group of residential buildings.

The Ministry of Agriculture, which considers the unlicensed storing or burial of pesticides a crime, took action at the site, submitting a record of the accident to the public prosecution.

An agent of the Ministry’s Sector for Agricultural Services Dr. Mohammed al-Gashm told the newspaper, that the 26 September police station in the Shoub district informed a Ministry security officer of the presence of large quantities of agricultural pesticides buried near a prison in the area. Ministry technicians traveled immediately to the site, where they discovered evidence of this landmark crime, which threatens the security and safety of the community.

He pointed out that buried pesticides are one of the greatest threats to urban societies for their high toxicity. Particularly because the pesticide is liquid, it can have an even more potent effect on the environment and ground water.

Al-Gashim added, “The technicians who are experts in the plant protection department have already surrounded the location and submitted accident files in order that legal action may be taken against those involved in this crime.

 The agent called on the Public Protection of Environment and Water Foundation and Sanitation and other governmental organs country to solve such problems and prevent the recurrence of related accidents.

He explained that in the disposal of these materials, particularly in large quantities, must be carried out through careful processes involving accurate soil analyses by specialists relying on a high degree of professionalism in dealing with dangerous, toxic substances. They cannot just be packaged in containers and transported routinely.

Al-Gashim commended the awareness of the policemen, who discovered the crime. He also disclosed that two people who were digging at the site are suspected of involvement in the crime.

 The agent emphasized that this is the first serious crime of its kind to occur near the capital, and that “we therefore need to deal seriously with those involved. We also must move quickly to treat the environmental impacts of this illegal dumping on the area.”