Wednesday, November 11, 2009
An Overshadowed City
Converting extra rice straw into fertilizer, instead of simply burning it off could be the solution to a problem that has haunted and plagued the residents of Cairo for almost a decade now, the “black cloud” descends and covers the city during the otherwise nice months of October and November.
The Ministry of Environment said it has made progress in reducing the black cloud. Mohamed Abdel Razak, environmentalist and observer, says that the ministry is doing the best they can do to solve the problem.
ABDEL RAZAK: “They are doing a lot of effort to solve the problem as soon as possible. I think they have already made progress. The cloud appeared only 40 hours this year compared to 190 hours last year, which shows that they are active about this. Ending this completely will take some time.” (:19)
Hundreds of thousands of farmers burn the surplus of their rice stubble following harvest in preparation for a fresh farming season. The government claims that they’re making efforts - some say unsatisfactory efforts - to tackle the problem.
People in the streets have had enough of inhaling the fumes that the burning produces. Sara Atef, a 25-year-old pharmacist complains of having breathing problems and says there’s a lot of action yet to be taken for the problem to be solved.
ATEF: “Reducing rice-staw is not enough, the government should do more because it’s a combination of things that make this a bigger problem… like pollution for instance, air pollution, fumes from cars and buses on the streets, these things make it harder for people to breath and to go about their daily lives, so I think they should tackle the problems, all at once” (:33)
Even though the ministry of environment is saying that they are doing the best they can to reduce and eventually stop the black cloud, Cairo residents are asking for more effort to be done, some still believe it’s getting worse and worse each day.
Nermine Amer, AUC News.