Major Problems in Kuwait
Kuwait: 1993 the government found that major health problems were in Kuwait livestock and poultry
June 10-12, 1998 in Washington, DC.
The environmental damage resulting from invasions and the wars has affected all ecosystems, as well as human health in Kuwait.
1)The oil contamination of the terrestrial ecosystems has reached levels on an unthinkable scale in the history of the planet. The impacts of war on the environment will take decades to partially disappear and their full effects may never be fully understood. These systems are currently undergoing some natural recovery, but human help is needed in order to restore the environment to pre-war days.. Remediation of the desert is essential to fix the contamination of Kuwait’s fresh groundwater reserve and avoid long-term continuing contamination of fresh and brackish groundwater. The oil has continuously seeped into the ground over the years. The amount of contaminated soil that will require treatment increases each day, and will soon reach 50 million m3.
In just a few short years, it will be too late to save the desert because the volume of contaminated sand will be too large. The desert may be contaminated forever. In order to avoid this ecological catastrophe in Kuwait, the contaminated sand must be seen as a toxic waste and solutions must be quickly found for its temporary storage until something can be done.
2)After the ecological stresses due to the war, the marine ecosystems and fisheries have progressively regained their prewar status. Seven years after the war ended, the impacts of oil contamination due to the war on the marine ecosystems and living species such as fish and shrimp are hard to distinguish from the impacts of chronic pollution from the oil industry and coastal development. Currently though, the coral reefs appear to be healthy and the quantity of shrimp harvested each year are similar to the ones recorded before the war. However, these findings do not identify the more long-term impacts of the contamination on the marine ecosystems and living species. In order to prevent future damage, research on the long-term impacts must be increased.
3)The presence and fear of mines is a major issue of concern. The long-term health impacts are an important public health issue that requires the development of rehabilitation programs.
The total amount of losses in Kuwait due to war and invasions is evaluated at over 200 billion dollars and the environmental damage is estimated at over 40 billion dollars. Kuwait’s top priority after the war was to reconstruct the infrastructure and rebuild the economy of the country. Most of this has been done, yet not enough work has been done on the environment.
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