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|Title||Environmental awareness in handling and application of pesticides in Rafah Governorate - Gaza Strip|
|Title in Arabic||الوعي البيئي في تناول وتطبيق المبيدات في محافظة رفح - قطاع غزة|
Pesticides are used to protect crops from pests and diseases. Several cases of death were reported and proved among farmers in the Gaza Strip as a result of use and mis-use of pesticides. Awareness of farmers in the Rafah Governorate was investigated in this study as part of a larger survey being currently undertaken in the Gaza Strip. Sixty farmers were selected randomly to fill in a questionnaire designed for this purpose. A wide range of pesticides was found to be used, many of them are internationally banned. The majority of farmers (86.7%) got pesticides from the local market, while (8.3%) got them from other localities including the Israeli settlements. About 93 % of the farmers do not wear protective clothes during application and handling of pesticides. Regarding the disposal of the empty pesticide containers, it was found that 73.3% of the interviewed farmers throw these wastes anywhere, 20% disposed of them by burning and/or burial, while 6.7% store them in special stores. Although 88% of the farmers did not eat, drink or smoke during pesticide application, they admit some cases of death and poisoning through application and/or handling or misuse of pesticides. The results of this study show that precautions during pesticide application regarding timing, frequency, pre-harvesting interval and wearing protective clothes are poorly followed. The extension services were found inadequate. It is recommended to improve the role of government and institutions in charge, especially in the extension services and by holding training and awareness campaigns for the farmers. Control of internationally banned pesticides must be a high priority task and legislation measures are to be taken soon.
|Published in||The 5th International HCH and Pesticides Forum, Bilbao, Spain|