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To Combat ‘Black Cloud’ Pollution, Egypt Comes Up With A New Plan

The World Health Organization is holding its first global air pollution conference in Geneva this week.

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Egypt, pollution, seeds
A farmer burns rice straw at his field in Qalyub, causing a "black cloud" of smoke that spreads across the Nile valley, near the agricultural road which leads to the capital city of Cairo, Egypt. VOA
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An Egyptian government program to pay traders to buy rice straw from farmers at the end of harvest has helped to combat one of Cairo’s ugliest features — a huge black cloud that hangs over the Egypt capital during the burning season.

Cairo is the world’s second most polluted megacity, the World Health Organization says, and the government is pursuing several initiatives to cut back greenhouse gas emissions.

One of the biggest contributors to the thick layer of smog has been the annual burning of rice straw by farmers who have no other means to dispose of it.

Pollution, Delhi, egypt
As pollution levels spike, Delhi and its satellite towns are enveloped in a haze of smog. VOA

To tackle the problem, the government offered an incentive to traders to buy the straw from farmers amounting to 50 Egyptian pounds ($3) per ton, said Mohamed Salah, head of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA). They can then sell it as animal feed or for other uses.

The program appears to be bearing results.

“Today, the dark cloud season is over and all citizens in Egypt are saying that they have not sensed any significant problem relating to this, unlike what had happened in previous years,” Salah said.

egypt
To tackle the problem, the government offered an incentive to traders to buy the straw from farmers amounting to 50 Egyptian pounds.

An industrial boom in Egypt has also contributed to pollution, Salah said.’

“We have some small industries that are deregulated and are not in line with environmental standards. We have worked hard on these,” he said.

Also Read: Dushhera In Delhi Casts A Dark Blanket, Air Quality Worsens

The World Health Organization is holding its first global air pollution conference in Geneva this week. (VOA)

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New Artifacts Found in Cairo, Egypt: Archaeologists

Egypt frequently announces archaeological discoveries

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This undated photo released by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, shows part of a stone slab that was discovered at a dig in eastern Cairo's Matariya neighborhood, Egypt. The Antiquities Ministry said on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, that archeologists working at the dig have found several fragments of stone slabs with inscriptions dating back up to 4,000 years. Some of the fragments date back to the 12th and the 20th Dynasties and the Third Intermediate Period while others are more recent. VOA

Egypt says archeologists working at a dig in Cairo have found several fragments of stone slabs with inscriptions dating back up to 4,000 years.

The Antiquities Ministry said on Tuesday that the artifacts were the latest finds in eastern Cairo’s Matariya neighborhood.

Some of the fragments date back to the 12th and the 20th Dynasties and the Third Intermediate Period while others are more recent.

cairo
A statue workers say depicts Pharaoh Ramses II who ruled Egypt over 3,000 years ago was unearthed on Thursday in the Matariya area in Cairo, Egypt, March 9, 2017. (VOA)

Egyptologist Dietrich Raue, the head of the mission, says one inscription points to Atum, an important and frequently mentioned god, as being responsible for the flooding of the Nile River in the Late Period, from 664-332 B.C.

Also Read: Archaeologists Unearth 6,000 yers old Neolithic Remains In Istanbul During Metro Construction

Egypt frequently announces archaeological discoveries, hoping this will spur interest in its ancient treasures and revive tourism, which was hit hard by political turmoil following the 2011 uprising. (VOA)