Ministry of Environment Stops Burning Rice Straw in a Strive for Better Air Quality

Via Freedipedia.

For decades, after a plentiful harvest, Egyptian farmers used to collect and then burn tons of rice straw. The practice has been criticized by environmentalists over the years, and in recent years, noticeable effort has been made to ban the practice.

Today, the Ministry of Environment announced that the collected rice straw from now is going to be used for furniture manufacturing and animal fodder. Officials have revealed that in 2019 alone, 1,900 tons of rice straw from 156 areas were utilized in the industry of artificial organic fertilizers as well.

Lower Egypt governorates including Sharkia, Gharbia, Dakhlia, Qalyoubia, Beheria, and Kafr El Sheikh, where the rice farming is predominant, are being targeted through an awareness campaign issued by the Ministry of Environment.

Several environmentalists have pointed out that the infamous “Black Cloud”, a dark smog that hovers across the Egyptian sky as a result of the burning of rice straws.

A 2018 study in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology Letters found out that air pollution in Egypt was responsible for shortening the lives of Egyptians by 1.85 years. According to Egypt Independent, a recent report estimated that 42,000 Egyptians die from diseases related to bad air quality each year.

Despite these grim statistics, Egypt is implementing fundamental changes to the infrastructure to improve these conditions. Banning rice burning is indeed one sure step to improve overall Egyptian health conditions.

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