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The Gap Year Blog

Focus - Algeria

5 Feb 2020 17:25 PM
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The biggest country in Africa and also one of the richest, Algeria is filled with the sands of the Sahara, rich culture, food and people. Despite its magnificence in culture, Algeria as a country has a number of environmental issues that only in the 21st century is beginning to be highlighted.

Occupying more than four-fifths of the Algerian territory, the Sahara Desert is always under threat of encroachment onto the fertile northern section of the country.

Gases:

Pollution rates are also at a high which can be attributed specifically to toxic gases and smoke from the copious amounts of factories, especially chemical ones. Another reason is the high CO2 emissions from vehicles. Due to the large terrain in Algeria, most people result to buying cars to travel far and local distances. This is in addition to uncontrolled use of fertilizers and pesticides. Affectively, this has increased air pollution and the contamination of food for human consumption.

In addition, according to a 2018 study by Harvard University, Algeria is amongst the countries with the highest risk of danger because of their ‘heavy dependence on foods that lose nutrients when the concentration of CO2 in the air increases’.

Pollution:

If you were an Algerian citizen, you would know that the high pollution rates are constantly increasing. Waste in Algeria has become the phenomenon common in all Algerian cities. Random dumping of waste and the neglect of cities has become an issue all are talking about. According to Abdulhakim Batash, mayor of Alger Centre, he said in an interview that Algerians disregard waste collection times and many are unaware that there are schedules for waste.

Water and Food Pollution:

A major concern in Algeria is the contamination of food for human and animal consumption. In 2018 there was a cholera outbreak that was caused by contaminated water in Sidi Kabir in a state called Tipaza. People were warned by the health institute in Algeria to wash their fruit and vegetables with clean water and to be wary of the water coming out of their taps at home. Water and food are polluted with industrial residues, insecticides used in agriculture and as a result of water mixing with potable water. This has been a major issue for many citizens in Algeria, which has resulted in people buying bottled water to drink and wash their foods with. This of course has had an impact in the number of plastic bottles are being used.

Plastic:

This leads to the fact that plastic in Algeria is overused. According to the Minister of Environment and Renewable Energy, Algeria uses about ‘5.5 billion plastic bags annually and warned that this volume of plastic waste could cause an environmental disaster in many major cities’. As an Algerian who has family living in Algeria, recycling has never been the hot topic to talk about, nor do any of the children understand what recycling is.

Plogging Association Algeria:

There are different ways Algeria are trying to control waste and pollution.

Plogging association Algeria are a company that are currently a hot topic on social media. Plogging association is a combination of both exercising and picking up litter.

Plogging as an activity started in Sweden and has now become a global activity. People are realising that exercising whilst doing good for the environment is beneficial for everyone so why not break a sweat and conserve!

The plogging is guided by a leader who takes the volunteers around a specific city. An example was in Algiers where they divided into groups to do plogging from place to place. After a few hours they would take a break, usually a lunch break, and then start again.

Locations vary from beach cleans, street cleans, rocks and anywhere spacious where people have been eating and dumping their rubbish.

Activities in different cities also include planting trees and educating children at events on why recycling and keeping the environment clean is very important. 

By Aisha Benmeriem - Online Journalism Intern

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservationcommunityteaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!