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Free Air Contamination in the United Arab Emirate (UAE) Essay Sample

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Introduction

Air is a composition of gasses that contribute to the existence of all living organisms. Its availability enables proper functioning of various natural and human mechanisms. For instance, bird’s navigation (flight) requires the atmosphere (air). Human industrialization uses the atmosphere as a dumpsite for their waste gaseous chemical compounds. The consequence of such a dumping is a polluted atmosphere with severe ramifications. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the level of industrialization and development has an alarming contribution to the rise in air pollutant. It has made air in cities, rural areas, and national parks polluted rather substantially.

The concern, however, is the consequences this polluted environment induces upon human beings. Studies have shown that air pollution causes health hazards including diseases and death. For instance, a recent study analysis indicates that over 545 people die because of air contamination. Analysis made by the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates that around the world, over 1.3 million death occur because of air pollution. In 2007, over 600 deaths were recorded in the UAE resulting from human-made air pollution. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), air pollution is associated with health problems such as headache, syncope, seizure, throat inflammation, asthma, cancer, and death.

With the understanding of the effects of air pollution, the question is what causes air pollution? What can be done to reduce it? The essence of these questions is that human beings survive by inhaling air during breathing. Veetil indicates that the human lungs receive about 15kg of air. Considering the sensitivity of the lung tissues, the impact of polluted air can be drastic. The size of the planet Earth with respect to the human body size is enormous. Therefore, outdoor air quality is of concern on the global scale. However, most significantly and highly undermined indoor air quality is a critical component of human health.

There exist numerous causes of air pollution in the UAE. EPA reports indicate that the causes are industries, gas station, and motor vehicles that emit combustion products. The sources include Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxide, and Sulfur Dioxide, gasoline vapor, chemical solvents, and consumer products are other sources. However, a reporter of the Khaleej times suggested that the oil and gas industry was the major source of air pollution in Abu Dhabi. Veetil indicates that the sources include power plants, industries, and motor vehicles. Scientific investigation indicates that the level of toxic gaseous inside apartments is three times greater than outside. Indoors activities such as gas cooking, smoking contribute to a high level of the polluted air.

Challenge

Reduction of air contamination at the national level will require long-term plans and decisions. It would include addressing the issue of reducing emission of gasses in power plants and industries. However, this paper will concentrate on the short-term plans that can be achieved at the local level. Therefore, an investigation will be done on indoor air quality by initiating an awareness program on the effects of air pollution. The challenge is the ways to reduce air pollution at the homesteads that consequently affect the level of pollution at the national and global scale. It will also discuss ways to reduce domestic water usage that would reduce the gaseous emissions in desalination plants.

Technological development has led to the transition of the fuel use to more toxic methods like gas cookers. Prestigious livelihoods and desire for luxury and fun have led to the people involving in activities such as smoking (carbon monoxide) that are a cause of air pollution. Mode of transportation has changed from walking, horse and donkeys to automobiles that emit large amounts of toxic gasses. The challenges addressed above will be difficult to implement since changing the human behavior and attitude, especially of something they deem positive, is difficult.

Implementation

Checking the information provided above, one can realize that the problem of the reduced air quality is the human being. Therefore, the solution to the problem is public education and awareness creation to change their behavior, attitude and enhance the understanding that certain activities increase the risk of health problems since they cause air pollution. In this paper, the plan was to initiate an awareness program through brochures, notices, poster, banners and the media then evaluation of the success of the plan by a survey on a number of homesteads in the UAE. The implementation of the program entailed advocacy for reducing the driving of automobiles, the effect of smoking, reducing burning of trash and use of recyclable materials using the above-mentioned mediums. Also, sustainable water use to minimize wastage that would have an indirect effect on reduction of gas emissions by the desalination plants.

Data Collection

The first set of data was collected before the implementation of the program in ten homesteads in different locations of the UAE. The implementation phase was given a trial period of one month before the collection of the actual evaluation data. It involved observations and personal interviews with the members of the ten homesteads. Observation collected data on the level of driving and burning of trash. Interviews were made to collect data on biodegradability of the material used within the homesteads, smoking with the assumption of providing true data, water usage, and recycling of waste products.

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Results

Table 1. Frequency data collected from the observation and interviews conducted for the ten homesteads in the UAE.

 

No of drives

Approx. amount of water (liters)

Burnt trash (spotted pits)

Cigars bought (packets)

Homestead

Before

After

Before

After

Before

After

Before

After

1

12

6

600

400

3

1

4

2

2

25

9

1000

600

1

0

3

1

3

19

11

800

500

1

1

3

3

4

30

22

600

500

1

0

2

1

5

14

11

800

400

2

0

4

4

6

17

8

1000

600

3

0

4

3

7

20

20

700

500

1

1

3

2

8

13

18

400

300

1

0

2

2

9

12

7

600

500

2

1

1

1

10

15

12

700

700

0

0

4

3

Total

177

124

           

Analysis of Results

The results on the number of drive outs of the home indicate a 29.9 % reduction from 177 to 124 total weekly drives of all ten homesteads. The amount of water used in ten homesteads reduced by 30.6% from 7500 liters to 5000 liters a week after the implementation of the plan. The number of pits reduced by 73.3% from 15 to 4, and the number of cigar packet bought in the neighborhood shops reduced insignificantly by 26.7% from 30 to 22 packets per week for all ten homesteads.

From the results above, it was clear that education and awareness creation was a significant solution to the increasing level of air pollution. Although the implementation trial period of the program was short, change was recorded in all ten homesteads studied. However, the change was not significant in three of the collected data i.e. number of drives, amount of water use, and cigarette smoking. The anticipated reason was that changing the human behavior and attitude could be difficult and, therefore, it would require time.

Discussion

The study enlightened my understanding of air contamination in the UAE. However, the important lesson was that although industries and motor vehicles were the major source of air pollution, common human beings at the lower levels were also a major contributor of the menace. Low cost approaches such as advertisement and education for awareness creation can be very essential in the fight for a green economy and reduced health hazards. From the study, I have learnt that the small neglected and assumed sources of air pollution contribute a lot at a larger scale.

The main obstacle was financial deficits. The study required hiring of nine individuals to distribute the awareness media (brochures, poster), install notices, and banners. Also, it required observing and interviewing residents of selected homesteads during data collection at the different location in the UAE and the media advertisement. Since no funding was provided, these expenses were a challenge. Another obstacle was unwillingness of some homes to respond to the interviews.

The study was perfect. However, if I were to carry out the study again, in would increase the sample size to represent a large group from the UAE. Also, the time frame of the next project should by adequate enough to record all the relevant data require to produce valid information.

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