Min. of Environment pledges to remove 70% of black cloud in 2015
Black cloud
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CAIRO: Egypt’s ministry of environment has pledged to get rid of 70 percent of the “black cloud” crisis that is to blanket Egypt’s sky in two months during rice cultivation season, Youm7 reported Tuesday.

The ministry has signed a protocol with the Social Fund for Development to facilitate loans to which it will provide the latest equipment to collect and bale the rice straw.

The equipment will be imported from Italy from September till December.

As famers start harvesting their rice crop each autumn, they tend to get rid of some of the uncollected straw by burning it. This burnt straw creates a pall of “dark clouds” that blanket parts of Egypt for weeks.

In case of violating the non-burning decision, a penalty will be imposed ranges from 5,000 to 100,000 EGP ($12,767) especially after providing the latest equipment during the few coming days.

Minister of Environment Khaled Hefny said that the ministry is also to launch inspection campaigns on Cairo’s vehicles to measure the rate of exhaust and cancel the licenses of the vehicles that exceed emission limits.

“Vehicles’ exhaust contributes to 23 percent of Cairo’s air pollution,” he added.

Hefny told Youm7 Tuesday that campaigns are also to be launched on brick factories and cement companies.

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