Environmental Problem In Kuwait

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Environmental Problem In Kuwait

Environmental Problem In Kuwait

Toxic and hazardous gases are being emitted into the air because of the uncontrolled and illegal dumping of waste. The emitted toxic gases are causing a lot of health problems along with the polluted dust coming from outside of Kuwait. These health problems include asthma, vomiting, coughing, allergies among other diseases, states Mohammad Al Sarawi, an environment expert. (Ethical Corporation. Environmental compensation 2006)

Mohammad Al-Sarawi was speaking to the Arab Times on the current environmental problems that are affecting Kuwait, the limitations faced by Kuwait Environmental Authority, the implications of the second Gulf Conference on Environment & Sustainability including the current eco-friendly projects being adopted. There are three types of pollutants that are causing environmental problems in Kuwait. They are municipal waste, industrial waste and medical waste.

Firstly considering the municipal waste, we have at least 3000 tons of municipal waste dumped into the desert directly without any recycling or treatment. The garbage is collected from the residential areas in Kuwait. Municipal waste is mainly dumped in illegal landfills. The illegal landfills where the waste is dumped are not monitored and don't come under any form of control. These places have to be monitored well to limit the pollution that such waste is pumping into the air and affecting the surrounding areas. (The Guardian Unlimited 2007)

From the 1940s until today there has not been recycling of municipal waste. Kuwait is failing to meet the international standards when it comes to the recycling of municipal waste and other kinds of waste. The waste is dumped in more than one landfill. We get some of our natural resources from the desert and using them as dumping grounds can affect procurement of important resources. We produce so much waste that we are running short of places to dispose them of.

There are 16 old landfills in Kuwait and now all of them are closed because of saturation. We have only 3 active landfills left, one in Jahra, one in Mina Abdullah, and one in Sulaibiya. Dumping of waste continues in the remaining landfills. Environmental problems come mainly from closed landfills which surround urban areas. These closed landfills emit a very strong stench. They also emanate methane gas (CH4), (Perkins 2007)which mixes in the atmosphere and is very dangerous. There is a high chance that this toxic gas can spread into urban areas and people could inhale it. This gas diffuses very easily and rapidly in the air and has a very foul smell.

However, it is heartening to know that some of the 16 closed sites are controlled by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to ensure that the emission of such toxic gases is reduced. In the case of industrial waste we have the hazardous and non-hazardous types. The hazardous type is very dangerous and causes a lot of bad odor and may also cause cancer in individuals who live near such areas and inhale a lot of these gases. Industrial waste may be liquid, gaseous or ...
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