9,714 reports on rice straw burning filed, 150 tons of leftovers recycled

CAIRO: Legal procedures against violators of the ban on burning rice straw in 9,714 police reports are underway, head of the Environmental Crises and Disasters department (ECD) Kawthat Hefny told Youm7 Monday.

The Ministry of Environment reported the incidents during the harvest season, Hefny said.

However, the ministry recycled 150 tons of rice straw into fertilizers and animal feed, exceeding a 100-percent success rate of the target of the project, she added.

Many farmers get rid of rice straw by burning it in the open, contributing to a phenomenon known in Egypt as “black clouds” resulting from air pollution, especially in the fall.

The ministry has released satellite images in October showing that the open burning process was most practiced in the Delta’s Sharqia, Dakahlia and Gharbiya governorates.

The campaign to reduce air pollution, which has been ongoing a few weeks, extends to inspecting factories and vehicles’ exhaust.

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