Managing our environmental impact on the field : Gao
"MINUSMA is implementing the four R’s of the waste policy of DPKO/DFS: reduce, reuse, recover and recycle."
The objective of the environmental policy for UN peacekeeping missions is reduce their impact on environment. The Mission in Mali, MINUSMA, has been the first ever mission to have an environmental side to its mandate. In Gao, in the north of Mali, this has been fully implemented.
“We encourage everyone to take action in order to protect the environment,” said Hatim Sobier, Chief of administration in Gao, in accordance with the environmental strategy of DPKO/DFS and the local initiative ‘Go Green’ for the personnel to implement the major actions.
Mamadou Kanté, the mission’s environmental expert in Gao, is an adviser and has also to role to assess waste management, sewage and other pollution sources in the camps.
“MINUSMA is implementing the four R’s of the waste policy of DPKO/DFS: reduce, reuse, recover and recycle,” he said. An external enterprise, under the supervision of the Facility and Environment Management Unit, collects the waste which will be incinerated or recycled in Bamako.
Water treatment units have been installed in the camp to collect and recycle water waste, following the standards of the Organization of non-release of waste water before treatment in the environment. The waste water is used for flushes and to water plants and trees.
This recycling has allowed the Mission to plant and water 3000 trees, 1300 square meters of flower garden, and 2000 square meters of market garden. These plantings are also an effort of the mission to prevent desertification.
To avoid contamination and soil pollution, generators, oil barrels, fuel tanks and other polluting equipment sit on concrete floors.
The Mission also collects the wood used in construction and distributes it to the local households.
With this internal management of environment, MINUSMA works along Mali towards the Sustainable Development Goals.