The Africa Stockpiles Programme (ASP) was launched in September 2005 with the goal to clear all obsolete pesticide stocks from Africa and establish measures to help prevent their recurrence. Projects under the program are also designed to train and strengthen institutions on important chemicals-related issues, create opportunities to address broader hazardous waste management issues, and evaluate new cleaner disposal technologies.
To address the breadth of the problem, the ASP is designed as a 12 to 15 year program of multiple phases. The total cost of the program is estimated at US$250 million, of which the GEF will contribute up to US$80 million.
In Tunisia, one of the first ASP projects, 1,200 tons of obsolete stocks were identified at a large number of containment sites. In addition to removing and disposing of these stocks and cleaning up the related sites, the program aims to: strengthen existing regulatory systems for pesticide control; promote ongoing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) efforts, particularly with small- scale farmers; promote certified organic agricultural production; develop a communications campaign to raise awareness about pesticide impact and opportunities created by IPM; and upgrade storage facilities.
ANGED (the Tunisian National Agency for Waste Management) of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development in cooperation with FAO safeguarded obsolete stocks of DDT located at a hospital in Menzel Bourguiba. Repackaging of the DDT stocks was conducted under supervision of FAO staff and an International consultant hired by FAO. The Project Management Unit in collaboration with the consultant selected ten local workers from Menzel Bourguiba region to work on the operation. The DDT stocks were transferred into new drums, properly labelled and stored in a new storage area.
In Morocco, the Africa Stockpiles Program is helping to prevent future stockpiling by strengthening the regulatory, legal, and management frameworks for managing pesticides; undertaking public communications campaigns to disseminate information on pesticide risks; and refurbishing pesticide storage facilities. The capacity of the Centre for Poison Control of Morocco will also be strengthened, a direct contribution to the objectives of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM).
The Nigeria ASP project was launched in September 2006. Despite initial delays, an inventory of obsolete pesticides has been completed in all 36 states and in the Federal Capital Territory. There has been strong implementation of awareness raising activities and development of numerous communication tools targeted at a large and varied set of audiences. Civil society has been a key player in the Nigeria ASP project. A sustainability plan for the programme is set to be completed in the first half of 2010 and the project is expected to close in June 2010.