Training to help cut water pollution risk


26-May-2009

The openining session of the workshop yesterday

Director-general Flavien Joubert of the Wildlife Enforcement and Permits Division said this yesterday at the start of a workshop for staff of the Public Health Division, Seychelles Bureau of Standards, Public Utilities Corporation, Department of Community Development, planning authority and private organisations.

The week-long workshop has been organised by, among others, the United Nations Environment Programme, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) and the Nairobi Convention, the European Union and the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Transport.

The main trainers are Eric de Ruyter of Unesco and engineer Marlon Montano.
“We are very much aware of the threats to the health of the population and to ourselves,” said Mr Joubert.
“Degradation of the environment is another facet that concerns us, this environment on which we all depend for our regular supply of fish, for our tourism industry and our general wellbeing.”

He said waste water can cause harm if allowed to flow freely into the environment and can reduce the quality of our surroundings.

“While we know of the consequences of this problem, all of us – technicians and managers – must have a good appreciation of the principal challenges associated with its management and have the knowledge that will enable us to provide adequate solutions,” he said.

He said those taking part will be guided through the most important principles of waste water management and they will build their knowledge and improve their way of thinking about waste water solutions.

“The course will provide you with the framework and the background that will prepare you for actual interventions, but also allow room for reflecting on our local situation,” he added.

Mr Joubert said the workshop comes at the right time in our development when there is a serious realisation that as a country we should take another good look at the way we are managing all wastes, including waste water.

“People are starting to realise that to achieve effective and long-lasting results, we need to look at the root causes of waste problems and not just focus on treatment,” he said.

“The cost to the polluter, waste reduction, recycling, sustainable financing, public education and awareness are all important factors that should be incorporated in the formula for effective and sustainable management of such waste products.”

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