In 2011 the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Global Environmental Facility, WHO/Europe, Green Cross International and Milieukontakt International launched a project to demonstrate and scale up sustainable alternatives to DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) for the control of vector-borne diseases in Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in 2012–2015. The overall goals are:
- to reduce global reliance on persistent insecticides, including DDT, without increasing the occurrence and spread of malaria and other vector-borne diseases;
- to promote appropriate practices for vector-control management by strengthening countries’ abilities to implement environmentally sound, effective and sustainable alternatives; and
- to reduce the availability of DDT stocks to the population.
The sustainability of the proposed project relies on a two-pronged approach.
- Show the safety, efficacy, affordability and acceptability of the various non-chemical alternatives to DDT and other persistent insecticides, and institutionalize these alternatives in a country’s health system. Such alternatives should also contribute to minimizing and/or preventing the development of vector resistance to insecticides.
- Build capacity in inventorying and safeguarding of obsolete pesticides stockpiles and safeguard the most risky stockpiles (with an emphasis on DDT) to bring them out of reach of illicit use.
Expected outcomes of the project
- Pilot projects help to define for each country the best alternative vector-control interventions to persistent insecticides appropriate to the major epidemiological, social, cultural and environmental settings.
- National capacity for planning and implementation of IVM/integrated pest management is enhanced.
- In each project country, an average 60 tonnes of prioritized stockpiles of persistent organic pollutants (mainly DDT) is safeguarded. The development of participatory disposal concepts will provide an example for similar projects in other countries in the Region.
- Sharing of specific project/country experiences is ensured.
WHO/Europe, in close collaboration with its partners in national health ministries, is responsible for the execution of the health part of this project at the regional and country levels and takes full advantage of the opportunities available at all levels to provide technical support for project implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
Milieukontakt International is responsible for the execution of the environmental part of the project at the regional level, specifically advising collaborating project countries on DDT stockpiles and the identification, repackaging and safe interim storage of wastes. Partner organizations in Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are working directly with stakeholders in the countries.