francis nhema 08-11-10 ed.jpgZimbabwe is on course to eradicate the use of ozone depleting substances following the successful ban on the importation of refrigerators with hydroflourocarbons while the agricultural sector has made strides in reducing the use of methyl bromide ahead of the 2015 deadline set by the Montreal protocol.

Updating the nation on the progress made so far in reducing the use of ozone depleting substances as agreed in the Montreal protocol, Environment and Natural Resources Management Minister, Cde Francis Nhema said great strides have been made in stopping imports of refrigerators and other gadgets that have ozone depleting hydroflorocarbons, while discouraging the local manufacture of the fridges.

Cde Nhema noted that the country will definitely be able to meet the set deadline as prescribed by the Montreal Protocol as the world forges ahead with efforts to reduce global warming and its subsequent effects on humanity.

“I am happy to report that four years before the set deadline as a country we have made significant progress especially as compared to other countries in Africa, We have banned the importation of refrigerators with hydroflourocarbons,trained customs officers among other measures,” Cde Nhema said.

Turning to the use of DDT in the fight against malaria, Cde Nhema revealed that efforts have been made to reduce its use and currently it has been confined to some rural areas that have high rates of malaria outbreaks.

“Taking into consideration the environmental effects of DDT, we have been able to restrict its use to the areas hard hit by malaria. So its use is quite minimal in the country and efforts are being made into the use of other effective malaria fighting chemicals,” said Cde Nhema.

The Montreal Protocol is an international agreement, whose objective is the reduction and the eventual elimination of Chloro-fluoro Carbons that deplete the ozone layer.

Over the past year, the country had training programmes for customs officers at the entry points to stop the importation of electrical goods that can affect the ozone layer while the agricultural sector was also required to phase out the use of methyl bromide in favour of float trays.