We all heard about how pollution went down during the lockdown and it’s actually noticeable. As the world is going through a serious pandemic, coronavirus is having unexpected effects on the environment.
The Minister of Environment, Dr. Yasmine Fouad, said that we witnessed a huge difference in pollution levels in Cairo during the lockdown. Air pollution reduced by 40% in Egypt. Can you believe that?
“We have already started plans to reduce air pollution in Egypt. But coronavirus is giving us an opportunity to accelerate these plans, expand them and think about other solutions,” Egyptian Minister of Environment, Yasmine Fouad, told Thomson Reuters Foundation in a telephone interview.
That change came after the government imposed night curfew and partial lockdown since the last 24 March. The percentage of pollutants in the air went down, after a drop in traffic.
An official at the Egyptian Ministry of Environment, Dr. Mustafa Murad, said in an interview with the BBC that the air quality has improved in Cairo by 36% and in coastal cities and the delta by more than 40% after curfew. Last year, pollution was between 36-40% higher.
This improvement didn’t happen because some factories stopped working as they apply the rule of the Egyptian Ministry of Environment by placing filters on the sources of fumes, and by adhering to environmental standards for air quality. he mentioned the reason behind this reduction is the drop in traffic of public transportation.
Alexandria’s sea has never been this clear before. At this time of the year, people tend to spend their holidays in coastal cities, and they would be crowded on the beach.
— اسكندرية – Alexandria (@Alexandria_egy1) April 20, 2020
Unfortunately, According to Hassan Abu Bakr, Professor of Environmental Sciences at Cairo University, this change won’t last. The minute the lockdown is over and everything goes back to where it used to be; air pollution will increase again.
Pollution levels decreased all over the world. At the beginning of the lockdown, we saw some photos of Venice’s canal water looking clear and clean; as coronavirus kept tourists away. Also, studies showed a huge reduction in pollution in some cities in Asia such as Beijing and New Delhi.
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