Guinea – Leaded Gas Phase Out Task Force

the details…
Key pollutant
Lead
Source
Leaded gasoline
Pathway

Air

Population affected
500,000
Children Under 6 Affected
100,000
DALYs averted
47,665
Industry
Energy
Project Partners
  • Centre D’Appui au Develeppement (CAD)
  • Permanent Secretariat of the National Council of Environment (CNE)
Share

The Problem

Guinea, on the Atlantic coast of Africa, is one of the poorest countries in the world. Conakry, the capital, is a bustling, colorful and vibrant city of about 2 million struggling with the side effect of urbanization—pollution.
The lack of sewage and water treatment directly impacts human health in the city. Only a fraction of households, primarily in the wealthiest neighborhoods, have reliable access to running water at all, while well water is contaminated by bacteria and parasites. The city has no wastewater treatment facilities, and only 8% of households are connected to a piped municipal sewage system. The overwhelming majority of households have only basic latrines; in better homes, the floor is tiled and the hole is deep. As a result, diseases such as diarrhea, hepatitis A, poliomyelitis, typhoid, cholera, and meningitis run rampant.

Major Environmental Concerns

  • Air Pollution – From leaded gasoline, automobile exhaust, traffic jams and old cars. Also from fuel sources: charcoal, plastic bags and tires used to cook, and the burning of garbage. Leads to elevated cases of respiratory and cardiovascular disease.
  • Water pollution – Lack of sanitation services pollutes coastal marine ecosystem, contaminates food supply , increases instance of waterborne diseases (malaria, diarrhea, hepatitis A, poliomyelitis, typhoid, skin diseases, cholera, meningitis), and renders water undrinkable.
  • Lack of Infrastructure and Public Services – Residential and commercial garbage collection is just beginning to be put into place. No waste water treatment plant exists, although plans are afoot to install a sewage treatment facility in the western part of town. Human waste, when collected, is disposed of directly into the ocean or local dump.

    Health Impact

    The effects of lead are the same whether it enters the body through breathing or swallowing. The main target for lead toxicity is the nervous system, both in adults and children. Long-term exposure of adults to lead at work has resulted in decreased performance in some tests that measure functions of the nervous system. Lead exposure may also cause weakness in fingers, wrists, or ankles. Lead exposure also causes small increases in blood pressure, particularly in middle-aged and older people. Lead exposure may also cause anemia. At high levels of exposure, lead can severely damage the brain and kidneys in adults or children and ultimately cause death. In pregnant women, high levels of exposure to lead may cause miscarriage. High-level exposure in men can damage the organs responsible for sperm production.

    Project Activity

    In Conakry, the Blacksmith Institute, along with the Blacksmith Guinea representative organization Centre D’Appui au Develeppement (CAD), is on the verge of beginning a new project to stop the importation of leaded gasoline and encourage the use of unleaded gas. The goal of this project is to end the use of leaded gasoline in Guinea via the enactment of a law banning the importation of leaded gasoline and by developing and implementing policies that will make the use of unleaded gasoline cost-effective and practical. The overall end goal in Guinea is the reduction in urban air pollution due to lead contamination. The implementation of the project will involve the following ministries: the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry for Hydraulics and Energy, the Ministry for Transport and Public Works, the Ministry for Trade, Industry, small and medium-sized businesses, and various industry groups such as the Guinean Oil company (SGP), the Grouping of Professionals of the Oil of Guinea (GPPG), and Service Health Safety and Environment of Shell (SSSES). The strategy will be based on the constitution of a national task force that will be under the coordination of the Permanent Secretariat of the National Council of Environment (CNE) and will develop a plan of action and propose legislation. The newly adopted regulations will

    Outcome

    With funding and technical support from Blacksmith, the Government of Guinea has ratified a ban on the selling and importation of leaded gasoline. The implementation of the project involved: the Ministry of Mines, Geology and Environment, the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry for Hydraulics and Energy, the Ministry for Transport and Public Works, the Ministry for Trade, Industry, Small and Medium-sized Business, and various industry groups such as the Guinean Oil company (SGP), the Grouping of Professionals of the Oil of Guinea (GPPG), and Service Health Safety and Environment of Shell (SSSES). The strategy was based on a Blacksmith facilitated national task force under the coordination of the Permanent Secretariat of the National Council of Environment (CNE). This task force was responsible for developing and passing the legislation.

 

 

The Government of Guinea has ratified a ban on the selling and importation of leaded gasoline. The strategy was based on a Blacksmith facilitated national task force under the coordination of the Permanent Secretariat of the National Council of Environment (CNE). This task force was responsible for developing and passing the legislation. The implementation of the project involved: the Ministry of Mines, Geology and Environment, the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry for Hydraulics and Energy, the Ministry for Transport and Public Works, the Ministry for Trade, Industry, Small and Medium-sized Business, and various industry groups such as the Guinean Oil company (SGP), the Grouping of Professionals of the Oil of Guinea (GPPG), and Service Health Safety and Environment of Shell (SSSES).