ZEMA plans mercury management

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The Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) says government recognizes the dangers that mercury can cause to human health and the environment if not properly managed.


ZEMA Director General Joseph Sakala said a number of activities had been undertaken during the implementation of the ratification and early implementation of the minimata convention on mercury project in Zambia.


Mr Sakala said some activities include raising awareness on mercury and its impacts on humanity and the environment and the preparation of a technical report on the mercury management in the country.


He explained that mercury emissions come from a range of human activities, primarily coal burning, incineration or disposal of mercury-containing products, cremation and from natural sources.


Mr Sakala said this at a meeting on the Ratification and Early Implementation of the Minimata Convention on Mercury in Zambia in Lusaka today.


He explained that exposure to release of mercury and mercury compounds often have irreversible adverse effects.


Mr  Sakala said mercury pollution was not only a local but a global problem as well.


He said global research had established that exposure to mercury and mercury compounds lead to cancer and cancer related ailments.


And Mr Sakala pointed out that it is imperative that Zambia ratifies the Minimata Convention on Mercury to which she is a signatory.


He said this would help the country be able to effectively control the impacts associated with the release of mercury and mercury compounds in order to protect human health and the environment.


Mr Sakala said the adoption of the Minimata convention on mercury presents an opportunity for the global community to address mercury problems of which Zambia in particular can play a key role.


The Minimata convention was adopted at the fifth inter-government negotiation committee meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland in January, 2013.


Mr Sakala revealed that the Zambian government through ZEMA has been implementing this project since, January, 2014.


And Mr. Sakala said Zambia recognizes and appreciates the support received from the United Nations environmental programme (UNEP) and other organizations in implementing the mercury project in Zambia.