Cairo is the world’s second most polluted megacity, but the World Health Organization says the government is pursuing several programs to tackle this.
One of such initiatives, is the annual burning of rice straw by farmers who have no other means to dispose of it.
“Some pollutants exceed the limit of what is permitted (by the law). These are usually higher in greater cities like Cairo, but on a national level we have good environmental conditions in several governorates. The Egyptian government has placed a target to enhance the quality of air as part of the national strategy for sustainable development, through decreasing pollution levels for pollutants less than 10 microns, by 50% by the year 2030. This plan is proceeding with good pace,” said Egypt’s head of Environmental Affairs Agency, Mohamed Salah.
The Egyptian government is offering traders an incentive to buy straw from farmers for 50 Egyptian pounds or $3 dollars per tonne.
Salah said this initiative is delivering results ,adding that that an industrial boom in the North African nation also contributed to the pollution.
He however said, the dark cloud season is over and all citizens in Egypt are attesting to this.
The World Health Organization is holding its first global air pollution conference in Geneva this week.