Mungu atunusuru. Uchunguzi wa watafiti Bongo unadai kuwa mboga za majani na mboga zingine zinazolimwa katika maeneo fulani Dar zina sumu na zinaweza kuua binadamu. Wanadai kuwa hizo mboga zina sumu kutokana na kumwagiliwa na maji machafu kutoka kwenye viwanda mbalimbali hapo Dar. Hizo sumu zinasababisha magonjwa kama kansa, magonjwa na figo na megine.
Nilishawahi kuzungumzia suala ya kukosa Sewerage system (njia ya kusafisha maji taka) huko Dar. Wakati mwingine tulikuwa tunataniana kuwa watu wanakula mboga zinazomwagliwa na machafu kutoka mabafuni. Sasa hayo ndo matunda yake. Maji machafu yanaingia kwenye maeneo ambayo mboga zinalimwa. Kwa kweli inasikitisha maana mboga za majani ni chakula cha bei rahisi, na karibu wakazi wote wa mji wa kula.
Napokaa Cambridge, MA tumetangaziwa kuwa tusile mboga/matunda kutoka kwenye bustani zetu maana wamegundua kuwa udongo umejaa 'lead'. Hivyo ukitaka kula shauri yako...umeonywa. Wametushauri kuwa tukitaka kuwa na bustani basi ni bora kununua udongo kulikoni kutumia ile iliyopo.
Je, Bongo wanapima udongo na kuwaambia watu umejaa nini na nini? Si wanapima nyama kabla inauzwa bucha?
Karibuni mchange mawazo yenu.
Vegetables in city gardens declared as silent killers
By Felix Andrew
Consumers of fresh vegetable grown from Dar es Salaam city gardens and river valleys are doing so to the peril of their precious lives, a local scientist has warned.
The expert, Dr. Robert Kiunsi, senior lecturer at Ardhi University has said habitual consumers of green vegetables supplied by city gardeners are prone to suffer from cancer and other equally dangerous ailments, through the indirect ingestion of industrial waste water used to irrigate most of the tropical vegetables grown.
He was speaking to this reporter at on going 32nd Mwalimu Nyerere International Trade Fair in Dar es Salaam. He alleged that recent research carried out by his institution in several parts of the city had revealed that a great deal of water used for gardening was highly polluted by chemical byproducts discharged into city`s creeks and valleys systems.
According to the study, nearly all river streams used to irrigate vegetables in city gardens contain heavy metals which are harmful to humans when consistently consumed. He said water samples analysed by the research team eventually came to reveal lead, cadmium, copper and chromium contents in city`s river water exceeded much far the discharge standards set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Heavy metals were released from industries, homes and garages due to lack of proper waste water discharge and treatment systems. Luhanga stream for instance, though an important water source for some of Dar es Salaam`s poorest neighbourhoods, was found to be highly polluted.
Residents are using the stream`s water for drinking, bathing, washing, construction and vegetable gardening, as well as cattle and other livestock keeping needs.
However, many factories and households continue to empty their untreated waste waters into the stream, thus threatening most of its other competing users. Heavy metals in water bodies may affect the health of human beings when taken directly through water or indirectly through food chains. Dr Kiunsi said the innocent consumption of lead and cadmium through oral exposure by about 2,933 people living around the stream could lead to cancer ailments.
Others might as well be affected through bioaccumulation of copper intake, he said. ``Children aged in between six and 12 years are at a higher risk of getting cancer or other pollution diseases,`` he said.
He called for strong collaboration between government bodies to ensure that all industries do abide by all set standards for treating waste water before getting discharged into the environment. ``It seems most of industries do not mind the rules when it comes to waste water treatment, because of inadequate enforcement of regulations by the relevant institutions,`` he stated.
Speaking at the same occasion, the university`s laboratory technologist, Aldo Ndimbo, said eating heavy metals through the food chain was likely to cause various diseases in humans and even lead to death in the long run. ``The metals disturb the nervous and renal systems; they inhibit haemoglobin formation, cause hypertension, factor for causing cancer and changes in body`s genetic information.
Some of the short term effects include vomiting, nausea and stomach cramps,`` he said. He added that long term effects included malfunctioning of liver and damage of cardiovascular organs, kidneys, liver and nervous systems, and a higher rate of bronchitis. Other possible ailments mentioned include renal effects, lung impairments and bone diseases, Ndimbo said.
``Similar studies in Sinza and Msimbazi river valleys have come to the finding of similar results,`` he said.