Samuel Okaka – Radio Apac Fm
APAC-Organic farmers in the Lango sub region rejected the spraying of DDT in their houses and demanded the government to assure them of compensation when their products loose market from their buyers. ‘DDT is not bad’, replied Minister of Health Emmanuel Otalla.
Speaking in a consultative meeting led by the state minister and Apac district leaders, the farmers asked the minister to explain whether government will compensate them when their products is found to be contaminated with chemicals.
“Honorable minister, we would like to know whether government will compensate us incase traces of DDT will be found in our products by our buyers.” The coordinator of organic farmers in Lango sub region Alex Fakken said amidst hummer from the farmers who were seated among the crowd.
‘DDT not harmful’
The minister however said government has not received any formal complains from the buyers of organic products in Uganda. “I would like to assure organics farmers in Apac that DDT is not bad as some people might think, and it is going to be sprayed inside the house but not in the field.” he said. The farmers however said they will not allow their houses to be sprayed with the DDT because of its toxicity and economic effects on their products.
Apac leads in maleria infections.
The reason to use DDT is the fight against malaria. According to Otalla Apac was found to be leading in the whole world in the rate of malaria infection due to numerous mosquito bites. The government has consulted all stakeholders like NEMA, the World Health Organization including countries that import organic products from Uganda and they have blessed it”, minister Otalla said.
The director of the Research Triangle Institute Dr. John Bahana said they are still carrying out a lot of training to ensure everybody understands. He said this program of indoor residual spraying will cover districts like Apac, Oyam, Kitgum, Pader, Gulu and Amuru.
Appeal and warning to health workers
The program manager of malaria control program in the ministry of health Dr. John Bosco Rwakimari said there is need to incorporate the Village Health Team (VHT) in the exercise. He said the ministry will set a disciplinary committee to monitor the spraying exercise and any spray operator who will contaminate the environment will be arrested and dismissed from the exercise.