Avoid used refrigerators to save environment -VP

18Sep 2020
By Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Avoid used refrigerators to save environment -VP

​​​​​​​VICE President Samia Suluhu Hassan has cautioned traders and the public against the importation and use of second-hand appliances that contain ozone-depleting chemicals such as refrigerators and air conditioners.

Home Affairs minister George Simbachawene presents a gift in Dodoma city yesterday to Fabian Shija, a student at St Charles Primary School in Iringa Region, for emerging top in an international essay writing competition on the environment organised by the Vice Presidents’ Office. Photo: Guardian Correspondent

The VP made the appeal in Dodoma yesterday during national commemoration of the International Ozone Day in a speech read on her behalf by Minister for Home Affairs George Simbachawene.

She said that Tanzania has so far reduced more than 216 tonnes of ozone-depleting chemicals, equivalent to 86 per cent of the amount available in the country and has set a target to eliminate the chemicals by 2030.

Ozone depletion is caused by chemicals found in used appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, fire extinguishers, metal cleaners, mattresses, and pesticides used to burn soil or store grain in warehouses.

“I urge the public to buy products labeled Ozone friendly (CFC-free) indicating that it does not contain or made of chemicals that deplete the Ozone Layer, to avoid dumping old refrigerators or fire extinguishers containing chemicals that deplete the Ozone Layer,” she said.

This year's celebration has the theme Ozone for Life - 35 years of Ozone Layer Protection which reminds the public of the importance of protecting and preserving the Ozone Layer by reducing the production and use of harmful chemicals.

Samia also called on development partners to support conservation efforts in conserving the ozone layer adaptation and resilience to climate change, biodiversity conservation and sanitation.

Also, involve young people and enable them to participate in environmental activities in order to have an understanding generation that values environmental protection.

In addition, the Vice President said that training for more than 500 air conditioners and refrigerators technicians on the best ways to handle such equipment without affecting the Ozone Layer.

The training was conducted in phases in seven regions of mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar between 2009 and 2014 and the result of this training is the strengthening of the profession of servicing refrigerators and air conditioners especially the use of alternative chemicals allowed.

"Since some of the chemicals that deplete the ozone layer also contribute to global warming, efforts to reduce the use of these chemicals will also contribute to lessen global warming impact and climate change," he said.

Ozone is a layer of air in the upper atmosphere, about 15 to 30 miles [15 to 30 km] above the earth's surface. The main function of this layer is to filter out large amounts of sunlight from the earth's surface.

Depletion of ozone leads to an increase in the amount of sunlight on the earth's surface which causes various effects on human health and the environment.

These side effects include skin cancer, eye damage that causes blindness and effects on the growth of plants and other living organisms. Thus, it is important to protect the Ozone layer in order to save the planet from these effects.

Ozone depletion is caused by the use of certain chemicals used in refrigerators, air conditioners, fire extinguishers, metal cleaners, mattresses, and pesticides used to burn soil or store grain in warehouses.

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