Introduction Edit



(2003): 17-28. p.24 table 3

Effects Of Air Pollution On Our Health And The Environment Edit

Air pollution doesn't just affect the lungs it also affects your sight, smell and taste buds because if the wrong air goes into your eyes, nose or mouth, te body parts won't function properly. Each day we witness this major phenomenon, the phenomenon of air pollution. Air pollution is the main cause of health and environmental damage in Egypt. Air pollution has major negative effects on the human respiratory system: it can irritate the lungs and lower resistance to respiratory infections such as influenza. Air pollution can also leads to the accumulation of certain toxic elements such as Lead (Pb) in our blood, bone, and soft tissue. Air pollution can also causes nonfatal heart attacks, irregular heartbeats, aggravated asthma, cancer, and premature death. Besides having negative effects on humans, air pollution also has negative effects on the environment; toxic particles can be carried away by the wind over long distances and then settle on ground or water. The effects of this settling include: making lakes and streams toxic and acidic, consume the nutrients in the soil, damaging crops and forests, and affecting the diversity of ecosystems. As we can see, air pollution has many deadly effects on us humans as well as on the environment. (A, M.)

Project Inside Egypt Edit

Projects Outside Egypt Edit

Air pollution in not only present in Egypt; air pollution is a worldwide issue. There was an experiment that took place in England to test how trees protected us from pollution. This experiment was developed by Professor Barbara Maher at the University of Lancaster. The experiment was very simple; they set up a row of 24 young silver birch trees in tubs along the pavement of the busy A9 in Lancaster. Behind the trees were 4 terraced houses, and next to those, 4 identical terraced houses that didn’t have birch trees between them and the traffic on the busy road. Two weeks later, the professors with his assistants came to wipe down an identically sized are of the screens in the front room of each of the houses. Taking these wet wipes to the lab to test the magnetic properties of each, Professor Barbara found out that the pollution in the 4 houses with trees was 50-60% lower than in those without. (A, M.)

Waste management Edit

The problem of waste management in Egypt is increasing on a daily basis and needs to be addressed before it gets any worse. Of the 88 million people that live in Egypt, 20 million inhabit Cairo and the surrounding metro area (Egypt, 2015). Egypt's city of Cairo is one of the densest in the world with 20,000 people per square kilometer, making efficient waste management even more of a necessity. In 2012, Egypt as a whole generated 90 million tonnes of solid waste, 20 million of the total were waste from municipalities (Zaki, 2013). An analysis of the composition of municipal waste showed 56 percent of it was organic with the rest composed of paper, glass, metal, and plastic (Zaki, 2013). With a population growth rate of about 2 percent a year, it is in the country's best interest to find a solution to the growing garbage problem (Egypt, 2015). The potential hazards of the waste include pollution to water, soil, air, and the citizens of Egypt themselves. (F H)

At one point, Egypt had a remarkably efficient method of waste management courtesy of the Zabaleen. They went door to door, loaded up trash in a cart pulled by a donkey, and worked solely on tips. After that, they brought the trash back to their homes and sorted through all the trash with their families in a meticulous manner. They separated paper, plastic, metal, food, etc; the zabaleen even went as far as sorting the paper into different categories (Habitat International). The zabaleen, mainly consisting of Christians, fed pigs with the organic waste and then sold them to hotel chains who serve pork for non-muslim foreigners. Their process of not wasting anything, even the trash, was so environmentally friendly that they won international respect and even funding from the World Bank in 1992 (Habitat International). However, in the spring of 2009, the world was terrified with reports of the H1N1 virus, commonly known as the 'swine flu'. In an effort to take preventative caution, the government ordered all pigs to be killed. About 300,000 pigs were slaughtered even though there had been no cases of the virus in Egypt (Slackman, 2009). By killing these pigs, the government destroyed the model of organic recycling that the zabaleen had been using for years.(F H)

Landfill compactor

One country in particular has broken new ground on the subject of effective waste management. Sweden has a remarkably efficient system, so much that other countries in Europe are paying them to take out their own trash (Plante, 2015). The most important part of waste management is prevention by reducing consumption from the beginning. They encourage the public to follow the three R's: reduce, reuse, and recycle. After sorting processes, whatever is left that can't be reused in some way goes on to become energy. In 2013, approximately 2.2 million tonnes of household waste was converted into energy for heating homes in Sweden (Swedish Waste Management, 2014). 50 percent of the total waste generated by municipalities goes on to become about 15 TWh of electricity (Swedish Waste Management, 2014).(F H)

If Egypt were to adopt a model similar to Sweden's the impact could be tremendous. Egypt already has an energy crises, so using the large amounts of waste to generate power for the city would be an effective way to clean up and generate energy, thus killing two birds with one stone. Egypt could also find a way to merge the efficiency of the Zabaleen with the energy generating model of Sweden. This would mean that the Zabaleen would finally be recognized by the Egyptian government as key members of society. They would be centralizing a sector of the economy, providing more sanitary work conditions, and making use of a preexisting labor force. The end result would benefit both the Zabaleen and all of Egypt.(F H)


Sources Of Air Pollution Edit

There are many sources that cause in polluting the air in Egypt. The most notable sources of the dust and small particles are transportation: with the absence of rules that are against vehicles that are polluting the air. Another source is the wind blown from arid areas around Egypt. Sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide in urban areas also cause air pollution, these gases turn the air thick and grey; these gases are present due to the excess amount of cars exhaust and factories pollutants. Also another source of air pollution in Egypt is the growing numbers of factories and power plants, and the use of old heating methods such as burning coal and wood. Industrial facilities such as factories and plants emit toxic gases into the atmosphere. Apart from burning coal and wood, burning waste is also a serious problem that causes air pollution; this is a major source of toxic emissions in Egypt. (A, M.)

Ways to Reduce Air Pollution In Egypt Edit


The problem in Egypt is that we have the Nile River, Mediterranean Sea, and the Red Sea and we don’t care that much about planting trees. I want to highlight that in order to fight air pollution is Egypt, we must plant more green areas full of plants and trees to clean and purify the air. Trees are very important when it comes to purifying and cleaning the air; they help to settle out, trap and hold particle pollutants that can damage human lungs, absorb CO2 and other dangerous gasses and, in turn, replenish the atmosphere with oxygen, and produce enough oxygen on each acre for 18 people every day. Also, the government should implement strict rules against vehicles, factories, and individuals that cause in polluting the air. Also another way to reduce air pollution is to use natural resources that are environment/eco friendly.(A, M.)

Water Pollution Edit

0308 WVenvirophotos1
Nowadays, Egypt faces a major problem and that is the issue of water pollution. In the past years the Nile River was always known as the identity of Egypt. Most of the cities depend on the Nile, as it is the major source of water in Egypt. But, throughout the years many things have changed, like the unclean streets, garbage everywhere, polluted air and obviously the issue of polluted water. This issue does count as one of the major problems in Egypt that causes many environmental issues, which affects people to not use the water that comes from the Nile anymore. This issue does also affect people health standards as happened in Qalioubeya and other different cities.(AN)

Problems faced by Water Pollution in Egypt Edit

In 2009 a few cities have been hit by typhoid in water. Qalioubeya was the worst city that got hit by this issue with 276 cases. The government blamed Qalioubeya for the underground pumps located there, which were the main source for this problem. As there is not a proper way to get clean dirking water in such areas, they used to drink from this water pumped from the underground, which was in this case undrinkable water. Qalioubeya for example is one of the cities that got affected by the Nile water, which gets affected by wastewater that comes from industries or villages and gets into Nile. Besides the industries that are placed next to the Nile River, there are about 2500 villages next to the Nile River, letting their waste water get into the Nile; so industries are not the only reason why the water in Egypt is polluted, people have also a major negative role in this problem.(A N)

Projects done inside Egypt Edit

A group of people in Egypt started an awareness campaign named “hatefre” (It will make a difference). This projects goal is to make people aware of the water pollution problem in Egypt. Their research found out that the campaigns made before did not affected these people to make something towards this problem. People think that  throwing something dirty into the Nile will not make any difference. That is the reason why this campaign was named “hatefre” because every little thing people do will help solve this problem. In order to reach many audience as possible they spread this campaign in many different field like TV ads, Radio and Flyers distributed to different groups of people.(A N)

Projects outside Egypt Edit

Besides the projects that have been done here in Egypt there are other organizations outside that are also concerned with this problem. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is trying to prevent this issue from wide spreading, by promoting water protection strategies to decrease the risks, by defending the clean water act and several other aspects and methods to help other states with water-related challenges. The NRDC have been protecting air, water and land from the pollution of the forces and corporate greed as they mention themselves a cause of pollution. Starting off  in 1970 they are now the most effective environmental action group in the US as quotes by the New York Times.(A N)

Statistics about the Problem Edit

The Egyptian Organization for human rights stated that roughly 38 million people in Egypt drink polluted water. They also affirmed that the industrial water wastes that enter the Nile are approximately 4.5 million tons per year. This organization also points out a very important aspect and these are the poisoning cases in Egypt. This issue is measured along 3 different cities and these are Cairo, Giza, and Qalioubeya. Qualioubeya comes first with 50% of the poisoning cases caused by water, then Cairo with 35%, and the last one is Giza with 12%. This measurement makes the example mentioned above have more sense as Qalioubeya is measured with the most water poisoning cases in Egypt. The Egyptian organization for human rights does also state that approximately 100,000 people die everyday due to cancer caused by water pollution. Moreover, 15,000 people get kidney failures also because of water pollution.(A N)

"Environmental Problems in South Africa." WWF -. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.

"SA Facing Water Pollution Crisis." News24. N.p., 28 Sept. 2010. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.

Tantawi, Passent, Nicholas O’Shaughnessy, Khaled Gad, and Mohammed Abdel Salam Ragheb. “Green Consciousness of Consumers in a Developing Country: A Study of Egyptian Consumers.” Contemporary Management Research. 3. no. 1 (2009): 29-50.

"Water Woes." Al-Ahram Weekly. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.

"Water Pollution in South Africa." The Innovation Diaries. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.

Oil spills Edit

Number of large 700 tonnes oil spills per year between 1970-2010.-1
Water pollution has been a major problem all over the world. One of the main causes of this pollution is oil spillage. The total recorded amount of oil lost to the environment in 2014 was approximately 4,000 tones, the vast majority of which can be attributed to one large spill (>700 tones) recorded in January in the South China Sea. (L M)

Empirical Study Edit


Oil spills are a major threat, especially in the Gulf. Not only are they a major cause of water pollution, but they also lead to the death of thousands of animals, such as animals and dolphins. Many of those animals living in oiled areas still struggle today, as they are showing signs of lung and liver diseases. Thus, indirectly affecting the food chain. Two weeks after the wekl known, BP oil spill, there was a major oil spill on june 16th 2010, located in Jebel al-Zayt north of Hurghada, caused by a leak from an offshore oil platform, owned by Geisum Oil. It has polluted about 100 miles (160 kilometers) of coastline including tourist beach resorts. However, after the spill, it has been reported that it is still continuing, damaging not only coral reefs but leaving turtles and sea birds covered in oil as well. Furthermore, another impact was the decrease of the tourist’s beaches around the area. An extensive cleaning intuitive was executed for the areas affected and damaged by the oil companies. Within 5 days of the spill over, 90% of the impacted areas had been cleaned. The Egyptian government was accused of trying to cover up the spill since they hardly reported any wildlife deaths, while the Hurghada Environmental and Conservation Association reported over 100 wildlife died. (L M)

Projects Outside Egypt Edit

With the new advances of technology, there were varies techniques to clean up oil spill. For instance, researchers at Case Western Reserve University are developing super-lightweight clay sponge to draw out oil from contaminated water. It works in freshwater, salt water and on plain surfaces. After extracting the oil, it could be then recycled. Another technique that could help solve this problem is a high-speed skimming vessel, developed by Extreme Spill Technology. While booms and skimmers are popular cleanup devices currently used in oil spills that successfully operate in waves higher than 1.5 meters, this new boat can skim in waves higher than 3 meters. Also, skimming cannot be done in rough, windy seas, nor is it effective at night since the visibility is low, unlike the boat, which can operate faster. The boat has been successfully tested by the Canadian Coast Guard and is ready to be sold worldwide. Also, Elastec/American Marine, an Illinois-based company developed a kind of barrel skimmer than can separate oil from water, even in waves. Moreover, scientists in Norway have discovered that simple peat moss is an extremely good at absorbing oil. The company Kallak Torvstrøfabrikk is developing a product called Kallak Absorbent, which can be placed directly into the oil-soaked water and absorb it. Water does not penetrate the peat moss, so the captured oil is trapped, which can easily be removed from the surface of the water. ( L M )

Projects Outside Egypt Edit

EPA is governmental agency that seeks to prevent, prepare for, and respond to oil spills that occur in and around inland waters of the United States. There is quite a number of advanced response mechanisms taht are available for controlling oil spills and minimizing their impacts on human health and the environment. For instance, mechanical containment or recovery is the primary technique. It contains a variety of booms, barriers, and skimmers, as well as natural and synthetic sorbent materials. It is used to capture and store the spilled oil. Another technique is chemical and biological methods that can be used with mechanical techniques for containing and cleaning up oil spills. Also, dispersing agents and gelling agents are most useful in helping to keep oil from reaching. Biological agents are better to clean up areas such as shorelines, marshes, and wetlands. Physical methods are used to clean up shorelines. Natural methods such as evaporation, oxidation, and biodegradation can start the cleanup process, but are too slow to provide a full cleanup. Therefore, physical methods, such as wiping with sorbent materials, pressure washing, and raking and bulldozing can be used to support these natural processes. Scare tactics are used to protect birds and animals by keeping them away from oil spill areas. Devices such as propane scare-cans, floating dummies, and helium-filled balloons are often used, particularly to keep away birds. (L M)                 

Water Sewage Edit

Water is essential, not only to human kind but to plants and animals and insects and every living thing on the face of earth. Without water, the earth would become as barren as any of the other planets quite quickly. It literally is the foundation upon which everything is built. Yet we are heading towards a sever crisis that could be the end of all of us. That crisis is otherwise known as water pollution. The biggest indication of that are the climate changes that we have been experiencing for the past few years. One of the main reasons of water pollution is the sewage that dumps waste into the water. Sewage is solid waste that goes into landfill and causes serious health problems. There is also wastewater that flows through the sewage pipes, this wastewater usually end up in lakes or rivers, carrying bacteria that are a threat to the human health. This is a huge problem in countries with high population numbers. Some of the developed countries have already taken steps to purify the polluted water to ensure the safety of their citizens, but how well did that work out and would these solutions work in Egypt? This is what we will be investigating in this paper.(A A)

The sewage leaking into the water causes serious health problems. These problems are mainly caused by the excess nutrients, pathogens, heavy metals, and other toxins that are found in the wastewater. These diseases cause vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory infections, dysentery, hepatitis and other serious diseases that come from drinking this water. Bathing in it or swimming in it causes a whole other set of diseases; arthritis, cancer, gastroenteritis and heart disease. It has been estimated that at least 7.1 million get infectious diseases per year in the USA due to the polluted drinking water. Most adults survive these diseases but it could be fatal for children and the elderly or those who have weak immune systems.(A A)

There have been a lot of search for a solution for the problem of sewage water pollution, and finally, the city of Arcata, California has found a way to prevent it. They built an artificial wetlands waste treatment plant. This works in a way that the sewage is held in sedimentary tanks where the solid waste is turned into sludge and then later taken to be used as fertilizers, and then the waste water is dumped into oxidization ponds, these ponds work on breaking down the bacteria in the wastewater. A month later the water is released into artificial marshes where it is further purified. Although by then it is clean enough to be let back into the sea, California State requires it to be chlorinated before being poured back into the sea. This is a good solution to make sure that the sewage water doesn’t pollute the water we use, but is it practical in a country like Egypt? The building of such a plant would need a tremendous amount of money, which in the current state, Egypt does not have. And due to the huge number of population and the size of Egypt, more than one plant would be needed to purify all the sewage. It could be a step for the future, to be put in the future plan for Egypt, but it would be too much for Egypt’s current financial status.(A A)

Some of the developed countries, like some states in the USA, have started arguing the citizens to stay safe by installing water filters on every tap in the house or a big filter in the main water pipe to ensure that the drinking water and the water used in cooking and cleaning and every other purpose around the house is clean and does not contain any harmful substances that was leaked into the water that would cause disease that could be hard to cure. Building owners that rent apartments or rooms are required to make sure that they provide filtered water, otherwise they could be held in charge of not following the health hazard laws. But it does not end there; restaurants and cafes, even garden hoses are all required to have filters as well. People should take into consideration that animals drink water from gardens and providing clean water helps save their lives as well. These filters work to purify the water from the harmful bacteria and the chemicals and the sewage waste that is leaked into the water. This is a great way to ensure that the water we use is clean, but in Egypt, with most people living below the line of poverty, it would be prosperous to think it could be carried out. Most people could not afford to feed their own children to have enough money to buy a water filter. People that have a high level of income could be convinced of the necessity of such a device, but people with barely enough would prefer buying food to feed their hungry family than to buy a filter.(A A)

There is no doubt that the pollution caused by the sewage being dumped into the water is a very serious matter that should be thought about deeply. There has to be a solution before the water becomes undrinkable. California found a solution that suited the state and helped keep their citizens safe, and each country should be doing the same thing.(A A)

Recommendation Edit

Pollution is a major problem that faces the world today. It is a threat to the environment as well as human beings. It needs to be constrained for the benefit of the future generations. The air seems to get polluted because of two main sources in Egypt, industry exhaust and vehicles emission, followed by open burning of waste. It is quite clear that Egypt is not the only country that has faced or is facing such a problem. Thus, learning from successful examples that could be adopted in Egypt is more effective than constantly using trial and error method. Delocalization of industry, monitoring industry waste and putting regulations on cars and car emissions thus seem to be the place to start to reduce air pollution in Egypt.  On the other hand, water pollution is caused by several reasons, such as sewage, wastewater, marine dumping, oil spills and industrial waste. Fortunately, there are various agencies fighting for the welfare of the world to prevent any kind of pollution.(L G) (L M)

Authors Edit

Ayman Roshdy (A R)

Lara Guirguis (L G)

Faris Hossam (F H)

Ahmed Meabed (A M)

Amin Nammar (A N)

Layla El Meligy (L M)

Aya-Tullah Ahmed (A A)

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.