The children’s environmental Health Foundation (CEHF) recently convened virtually with the Provincial Development Coordinating Committee (PDCC) in Southern Province on Advocacy to policymakers on designating the lead agency to undertake the formulation of the Statutory instrument on Lead in paint.
CEHF Chairperson and National Lead Elimination Advisor Michael Musenga said that CEHF has taken a critical role in campaigning against the elimination of lead paint in Zambia as part of a campaign of Toxics-Free SDGs as well as Toxics-Free Future.
During the meeting, he presented the goal of the organization as an advocacy organization with the objective to see that children, women, and public health were protected from all hazardous environmental materials.
“There is need to make strict enforcement of Corona Virus control health measures in line with the Public Health Act Cap 295 of the laws of Zambia to address the COVID-19 pandemic and impact on chemicals and waste,” he explained. Covid-19 came with restrictions such as the stay-home messages which are being spoiled by liquor premises that are set near communities that require control of noise so as not to disturb the nearby communities especially the sick persons in medical vicinities.
Mr Musenga also stated that due to challenges in the control of plastic waste, it was necessary that regulation to ban single-use of plastics be established in order to protect our rivers from possible contamination from toxic plastics.
He said task forces spearheaded by the District Commissioners can help in advocating for a law to phase out Dental Amalgam in Zambia since alternatives were available.
Mr Musenga also shared the steps that CEHF had taken up to the stage of drafting the lead paint law through the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA).
He said that ZEMA had taken the responsibility of a Lead Agency to start developing the law that will ban the manufacturing, importation, distribution, sale and use of lead in paint.
The virtual meeting Provincial Heads of Departments, District Heads of Departments, and other key stakeholders were in attendance.
The PDCC was attended by 60 participants that included all Provincial administrations heads, Town Clerks and all District Heads of Government Departments, Town Clerks and Council Town council Secretaries in 12 councils and key stakeholders. This was an invitation by the Permanent Secretary for Southern Province Mrs Joyce Bwacha.
Zambia is in the process of developing a regulation to make a recently established 90 Parts Per Million lead paint standard mandatory as per Global Alliance on lead paint elimination (Lead Paint Alliance).
As of 31 December 2020, 79 countries have confirmed, they have legally binding control on lead paint which is 41 percent of all countries.
CEHF gives gratitude to the Zambian government through the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and industry and the Zambia Bureau Of Standards (ZABS) for approving and Gazeting the 90 Parts Per Million of standard ZS 1185 for public notification and use and also thank some paint manufactures that have voluntarily stopped adding excessive lead in paint to protect the environment and children’s health.