Air pollution is the highest source of pollution in Egypt. The World Health Organization says breathing the air in Egypt for one day is equal to smoking 20 cigarettes. The four main factors that cause air pollution in Egypt include industrial plants, transportation, sandstorms, and the burning of garbage. There are a lot of factories scattered all around Egypt. Some factories aren’t as harmful as others while some factories are very harmful. For example, the factories that burn muzut (low quality fuel) produce a lot of chemicals that are released into the air. These factories also cause a huge amount of greenhouse gasses. Sadly, these are the main factories that are found in Egypt. How many of you were walking down the street and saw a tremendously big black cloud of smoke, and realized that it was coming out of a microbus? A lot, I can imagine. Which brings me to my second point, the second highest cause of air pollution is the transportation in Egypt. Egypt is packed with cars, buses, and even tok toks. However, most of the transportation Egyptians use are very old and use a lot of gasoline. Since the vehicles are old, the exhaust that the vehicles release contain a lot of heavy metal and release carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, gaseous hydrocarbons, lead, and many more dangerous chemicals that we breathe. That causes diseases such as cancer and asthma. According to the 2011 study by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, it says that Cairo alone, has more than 2 million vehicles. Factories and transportation vehicles are increasing in a very high rate. This of course, is not good for the environment and air in Egypt, since it increases the air pollution.

Egypt’s’ land is mostly desert so Egyptians experience a bunch of unexpected sandstorms. The wind blows past the desert sending off a tremendously large amount of air filled with sand. “These dust storms usually contain silica, sulfate and carbonate molecules, which clog people’s sinuses and can be extremely uncomfortable,” Abdel Shakour says. Last but not least is the burning of garbage in Egypt. One Egyptian can produce around 4.3 pounds of waste per day. Imagine 90 million Egyptians producing all that waste. It’s insane! So where does this waste go? Most of it goes in the air, by burning it. So when Egyptians burn garbage, it produces combustion which produces a very high amount of ash and smoke that goes into the air, causing the sky to turn grey. Aside from all of that, there are ways we can improve the air pollution in Egypt. For the industries, we can build a more friendly process that produces less air pollution. As for the sandstorms, we can grow tall trees to help block the sand from the air. For the transportation, Egyptians can rely more on bicycles and trains rather than depending on cars. Egyptians can completely stop the burning of garbage by recycling, and after recycling that recycled objects move to friendly factories that reproduce materials that can be used. In the end there is hope for Egypt to recover from air pollution.

By Nada El Masry