Despite EPA’s claim on effective environmental management campaigns, the UN rep disclosed that Sierra Leoneans lack access to information regarding contamination levels of air, water and food, as well as diverse impacts on human health such as cancers respiratory diseases, birth defects and reduced cognition, among others.
“I urge the Government to undertake activities to raise awareness on the adverse impacts on human rights resulting from hazardous substances and wastes among the public and to foster participation in decision making by all relevant actors in spirit of dialogue and cooperation,” said Baskut Tuncat.
Dismissing the UN’s Special Rapporteur report titled: Implications for Human Rights of the Environmentally Sound Management and Disposal of Hazardous Substances and Wastes,” the Executive Chairperson of EPA-Madam Hadijatou Jallow said there were some initial discrepancies on the report especially on the area of awareness raising.
She added that she has been on TV and other medium on sensitization campaign/s, but Baskut Tuncat urged her to produce evidence of complaints where people’s right were being grossly violated.
EPA has been recently accused of administrative impropriety and ineffectiveness to manage the environment well. A Member of Parliament of the ruling Government early this year reportedly said EPA should be bannedbecause the institution is not up to the task. EPA ran a press release to refute this claim, calling on journalists to visit the office and verify their claims.
The UN rep urges the Government to strengthen the implementation and enforcement of existing laws, while also closing legislative gaps, establishing missing emissions standards, and develop laws and policies in areas where they are vague or absent.
Credit: Global News Africa