A Communications Event on Protecting Children from Pesticides

According to statistics from the Vietnamese General Department of Preventive Medicine, over 5000 people suffer from pesticide usage every year and 300 people die. A recent study on the impacts of Paraquat and Chlorpyrifos conducted by the Center for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD), the Research Centre for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CGFED) and the Research Center for Rural Development (RCRD) in the three provinces of Phu Tho, Nam Dinh and An Giang showed that 90% of farmers have no knowledge of the two highly hazardous pesticides. The farmers in Phu Tho in particular, have been using pesticides for 23 years. That is longer than their use in the two other provinces.

In order to address and resolve the abovementioned problems and raise children’s awareness of the negative impacts of pesticides and the benefits of adopting organic farming with a no waste approach, SRD in partnership with the Phu Tho Union of Science and Technology Associations (PUSTA) organized a communications session. The “Protecting Children from Pesticides” event was geared for students attending Cao Xa secondary school in the Lam Thao district of  Phu Tho province on June 26th 2015. This activity falls within the scope of the “Towards a non-toxic Environment in South East Asia” project funded by the Pesticide Action Network, Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP) for the three aforementioned organizations.

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Ms. Sarojini Devi VijayaRengam, the Director of the PAN AP

Participants at the session included the Director from the PAN AP, Ms. Sarojini Devi VijayaRengam and DeepaRavindran, Mr Hoang Van Tuyen, the president of PUSTA, the representative of the People’s Committee of Cao Xa communes and all of the leadership, teachers and students of Cao Xa secondary school. Mrs Nguyen Thi Hoa, the Deputy Director of SRD, also attended at the event.

Children1 Mr Hoang Van Tuyen, the president of PUSTA

In the communications session, the students talked about the current uses of the pesticide in their local areas. They began to understand the serious consequences of using pesticides and the benefits of adopting organic farming with a no waste approach through frank discussion, sharing of opinions, in pictures of pesticides they drew themselves and by answering questions related to the issue.

Children3

 Students participating in the questions and anwers session

At the end of the event, the representative of the PAN AP expressed her appreciation for the enthusiastic participation of the students and the interest from the school and the local authority in communicating surrounding the restraint on pesticide usage required. She also revealed expressed her desire to contribute to the ongoing “Practicing Organic Farming in Phu Tho province- Say No to Pesticide” program.

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Students' pictures

 

-SRD-

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