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|Title: ||International environmental law and the question of banned chemicals: the legal implications of the use of DDT in Uganda|
|Authors: ||Kasande, Vennie|
|Keywords: ||International environment law|
DDT - Uganda
|Issue Date: ||Sep-2009 |
|Abstract: ||It is reported that more than a million people die of malaria in Africa each year, and nearly 800,000 of them are young children. In Uganda, malaria is killing 320 Ugandans daily. Over the past generations it has killed millions of human beings and sapped the strength of hundreds of millions more. It continues to be a heavy drag on man’s efforts to advance agriculture and industry. The evolution of malaria control saw the discovery of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) as a chemical that could be used to kill mosquitoes which spread malaria to human beings. The use of DDT in malaria control has evoked emotions and passions of past DDT debate especially when it comes to protection of the environment. Use of individual researcher’s data by experts has found its way into the general public and policy debate. The debate gives the impression that the use of DDT alone will help solve the dynamic and intricate problem of malaria disease. The critical issue here has been the controversy between the need to protect public health even when the environment is threatened.
Guided by the central research question of “What is the impact of international environmental law on banned chemicals for the control of malaria in Uganda?”, this study has analyzed the international environment law and its implication on the proposed re-introduction of indoor residual spraying (IRS) using DDT in Uganda. The study traces the evolution of malaria control policies and reviews both the international and national legal frameworks with implications for use of DDT in Uganda. It found that the question of malaria control policies has had a long history but it has remained controversial, the discovery of DDT as a means to control mosquitoes which causes malaria was received with much blessing but the emergency of the environmental concerns associated with its use have persisted todate. The way DDT has been treated in the POPs convention can be seen as a partial victory for those campaigning for its continued use in controlling malaria. However, the restrictions on the use of DDT under Annex B of the POPs pose a relatively onerous burden on its use.
The study further investigates the perceptions of people on applying DDT to control malaria. It finds that the environmentalists and health workers hold varying views on the use of DDT in the control of malaria. It is also clear that the government on the other hand supports the use of DDT and is already taking practical steps to have the DDT spread to fight malaria. Although the government is determined and has already taken steps to use DDT in the fight against malaria, several issues in this approach remain contentious. It is thus important that the government revisits the legal and policy frameworks that impacts on the use of DDT as a malaria control policy.
The study also discussed experiences in other jurisdictions and found that adopting an Eco-health approach is one of the ways Uganda can fight Malaria without using DDT. The study further finds that Uganda has several other options other than the application of DDT to control malaria. However once it chooses to apply DDT to control malaria, it has to take precautions such as monitoring of the process to avoid abusing the use of DDT in other sectors such as agriculture.
It thus concludes that the question of international environmental law and the use of banned chemicals such as DDT in the fight against malaria can best be solved by striking a balance between the protection of the environment and public health. This calls for a holistic approach and developing mechanisms for dialogue between the environmentalists and advocates for public health. The study also recommends other options for instance using alternatives to DDT, using the ecohealth approach, use of alternative pesticides which are less toxic and applying the precautionary approach.|
|Description: ||A dissertation submitted to the School of Graduate Studies in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Laws (LLM) of Makerere University.|
|Appears in Collections:||Theses & Dissertations (Law)|
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