In the light of the National Strategy for Waste Management in Yemen, Report SummaryWill toxic materials and waste problem be solved? [Archives:2003/647/Health]

July 3 2003

Yasser Mohammed Al-Mayyasi
The national strategy report for holistic management of dangerous waste which was produced by the general body for environment protection confirmed that the amount of dangerous waste reaches 395,670 tons a year. The report stated that this is an urgent issue not only because of local waste but also because some other countries are trying to make Yemen their garbage dump. The aim of the strategy is to monitor management of waste internally and on borders according to Basel's agreement with respect to the economic, legislative, technical and institutional circumstances.
The report also indicated that petroleum is an important source of dangerous waste, added to it are industries, medical establishments. However, there are statistics on this issue and this information was gathered according to local studies, case studies of some of the establishments and international standards. According to quantity, it is reported that industry produces the maximum of waste material and oils comes second. Other waste such as that coming from the medical field is little in quantity if compared to those two, although the medical waste is much more dangerous and toxic.
Yemen suffers from a number of shortcomings when it comes to waste recycling and there is no technical administration as such. Processing of waste is still basic and not professional hence this causes a problem to environment which must be tackled immediately. Another problem is that no information or database exists for reference or awareness. Even from the law point of view there is not much attention to protection of environment.
The strategy's objectives could be divided into general and specific. The general objectives lie in the establishment of a holistic system for the management of dangerous waste of all types and to decrease its production through legislative means and implementing of Basel's convention. The specific objectives are represented in developing the abilities and knowledge of the national cadre working in the environment field, and to improve the general knowledge of the public in general at all levels, also to establish a sufficiently dependable database on this issue. The time frame set for this action plan is 10 years divided into four periods; the first phase where the main basic activities are implemented for establishment of the project, i.e. a foundation phase, then comes the developing stage, which is scheduled for two years through which evaluation and planning of experimental systems take place. The third phase is of three years and this is when all technical and economic pilfers of the project are set for 9 districts. Then finally four years in the last stage and this is the actual implementation and then follow- up of such events through education, workshops and training courses, also the database management and updating.