Is there a future for our environment? [Archives:2003/647/Health]

July 3 2003

Ismail Al-Ghabiri
We were attaching hope to those capable of altering the individual and public behavior, used to destroying environment and dissipating water wealth and government potentials spent on improving environment and protecting water for drinking to join forces and prove they are dong what they say. We are witnessing the squandering of clean water resources, and the dissipation of the Government resources that are allocated for improving the environment as well as for protecting the adequacy of water resources for domestic and agricultural purposes.
We have maintained hopes that those influential people and circles would consolidate and solidify their efforts towards undertaking the programmers they have drawn up and formulated.
We have had sincere hopes that those influential people and circles would not limit their activities to self-fulfillment and self-enrichment which appears to be the principal motivation driving them to be eager to participate in the local, regional and international conferences and seminars being organized and financed by foreign entities and organizations.
The problem of environmental pollution affects, more particularly, water resources of the country. The scarcity of water resources constitutes one of the main reasons for pollution as well as the source for many deadly illnesses. This also compounds the problems of aridity as we witness that desertification to recultivate the land even if we manage to allocate millions of rials.
The most effective way for dealing with the degradation of the environment would be to initiate coordinated, sustained and concreted efforts of all elements and segments of society. We all have responsibility to save the environment, and only if we manage to succeed in this pivotal effort we would be able to restore greenery to the land and purity to our water resources. This objective could be achieved in the space of a few years provided that the required will and dedication is applied. In this manner, we could work to guarantee food security and to protect our arable lands as well as our water resources. The result of such actions and programs could lead to clean air, healthy food, appropriate dwellings, well-formulated educational activities etc. We must all act, and act together in the cities as well as in rural areas. Combating desertification and pollution has now become part of the national and international agendas for sustainable development and progress. All countries and societies of the world have made this their solemn objective and goal.
In contrast, advanced societies they formulate and undertake programs and activities that enhance greenery, protect drinking and fresh water resources, prevent soil degradation, etc. But in our societies we cut trees, we waste and pollute water resources by carrying out dreadful actions like cleaning vehicles in fresh water and throwing garbage of all sorts into those resources. The result is evident: More and more illnesses particularly in rural areas because of bilharzia etc.
It is time that those personalities who are in charge of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should pay more attention to the serious problems of environmental degradation and pollution. These personalities benefit enormously from their positions at the NGOs and of their relationships with external aid organizations. Consequently, they are duty- bound and obliged to do more to erase poverty and disease. They must be conscious and work to avoid, and hopefully eliminate, the harsh miserable consequences of environmental pollution. If pollution in Yemen continues unchecked it would eventually lead to a momentous catastrophe that will cost us dearly.