UAE's FM sector looks to standardise pest control
fmME rounds up the UAE’s efforts towards increasing awareness and regulation about pest control practices
This July, integrated FM (IFM) service provider Imdaad announced it is shifting its pest control programmes towards healthier and more sustainable practices. The company announced it is “gradually replacing” its chemical pesticides with organic bio-chemical variants.
In a statement, Imdaad said the move is in line with its CSR projects and Green Environment initiative, which is carried out with Imdaad’s pest control division. Imdaad’s pest control division aims to ensure that “a significant percentage of the total chemical purchase in 2016” includes organic bio-chemicals, the statement added.
Remarking on the move, Jamal Abdullah Lootah, CEO of Imdaad, said: “We are excited to pursue this new programme as this is an important aspect of our Green Environment initiatives.
“We are currently developing a strategy for its gradual implementation so that we can make this change across all our projects.”
Green pesticides are yet to find widespread market acceptance, but a growing awareness of the side effects of conventional pesticide could change this. Bio-pesticides can target particular pests and specific areas and are more effective even in small quantities.
They are known to be environmentally friendly and reduces risk of prolonged exposure for operators, Imdaad’s statement added.
Market awareness about the choice of pesticide is clearly rising, more so as end-users bear the brunt of poor pest control practices. As Jaffar Ali Jaffar, head of environment services at Sharjah Municipality told UAE daily Khaleej Times this April, a significant number of pesticide-related health incidents were reported in 2013 and 2014.
“Strict measures have been initiated after several residents expressed concern over the safety of chemicals used by firms that offer pest control services, following a series of deaths and hospitalisation of people who inhaled the poisonous chemicals,” Jaffar told the daily.
“There had been many cases that were reported in 2014 and 2013, but the number reduced in 2015 due to the awareness campaigns the municipality carried out.”
Officials are working to safeguard the future through regulations for the pesticide sector. The UAE’s Minister of Environment and Water issued a ministerial resolution this January to regulate the distribution and use of banned and restricted pesticides in the country, given the risks they pose to public health.
Under the resolution No. 30 of 2016, all companies, individuals, and government and private institutions are prohibited from producing, manufacturing, installing, processing, importing, or using any banned and restricted pesticides in the country.
The resolution allows companies and institutions to register restricted pesticides based on their specific purpose. Companies are not permitted to register or import those items for purposes other than those they are registered for.
At the time of the resolution’s launch, the ministry announced that companies, institutions, and individuals working with pesticides should comply with the rules and regulations in e-Guide regarding registered pesticides in the UAE. Violators of the regulations face penalties as per provisions of the federal law.
The UAE’s resolution is a step in the right direction for the country’s end-users, but FM companies would do well to increase market education about picking the right pest control firms.