LEDC Urban Case Study: Cairo

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Environmental Problems in LEDC Urban Areas Case Study: Cairo
The problem of Growth:
Situated on the River Nile, about 200km south of the Mediterranean Sea. Greater Cairo extends along the sides of the Nile for 30km.
Cairo's population increased dramatically from 4.5 million in 1960 to 16 million in 2000
2
Cairo's average population density is 30,000 people per km . This is shocking because it is higher than Manhattan's population
density in New York, even though its buildings are a lot taller than Cairo's.
Cairo's population is growing so rapidly because of rural to urban migration, and also a higher life expectancy. The life expectancy
went up from 41 in 1960 to 64 in 2000. This leads to a very large natural increase in population, as a lot of people are still being born
Houses in Cairo are becoming overcrowded and in short supply. Other infrastructures including transport, health, education, water
and sewerage also face severe pressure from the ever-expanding population
Air Pollution
Causes
Lead Smelting
o 14 recognised lead smelters in Cairo melt old car batteries, scrap metal and lead pipes to produce new lead
o 500 tonnes of lead is sent into the air a year
o There are many unregistered backyard smelting operations which add to the pollution
Rice Straw Burning
o About 1 million acres of rice is grown around Cairo a year
o For each tonne of rice produced, farmers are left with 2 tonnes of rice straw to dispose of
o This releases large quantities of carbon monoxide and particulates
Vehicle Emissions
o Automobiles (1.2 million vehicles) burn an average of 20 litres of petrol a day ­ 50 billion are burned in Cairo
o This sends pollutants (mainly carbon monoxide) into the air
o 200,000 motorcycles in Cairo produce the equivalent of 20 cars' pollution
o A few thousand buses and over a million taxis, some running on diesel fuel, also add to the situation
Consequences
The 'Black Cloud' first appeared in 1999 and is a haze formed by straw burning, exhaust fumes, and emissions from smelters. For
every 10 people, 6 or 7 have flu-like coughs caused by the pollution
Some health risks of the air pollution in Cairo can result in premature deaths
If each person receives 10,000 Egyptian pounds of medical treatment, then the total cost to the economy will be 5 billion Egyptian
pounds
37% of residents in Shoubra al-Kheima in Northern Cairo suffer from lung problems
In children, vitamin D deficiencies are caused by lack of quality sunlight (rays are blocked by smog), loss of intelligence (avg. Of 4 IQ
points) as a result of excessive lead concentrations, and tooth decay (80% jump in risk)
Management
Vehicle emissions are being reduced by opening more inspection stations and introducing an on-road testing program (ORT) in July
2003
50 more Gas Plus engines from Cummins Westport (USA) were ordered in January 2006 (total: 100). These are low-emission natural
gas engines to be operated by the Greater Cairo Bus Co. And Cairo Transit Authority
Metro was introduced to decrease the number of vehicles on roads. Line 1 (suburbs to Central area) in September 1987, line 2
(21.5km ­ links Northern part to centre and crosses River Nile to reach Giza (16km)) in October 2000. Line 3 (Embaba in North-West
to the airport)
3 more lines are planned for 2022
Noise Pollution
Causes

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Vast number of vehicles means that roads are GRIDLOCKED throughout the day and night ­ an almost permanent rush hour ­
unhealthy noise levels
Cargo boats flowing in and out of the city on the Nile, and floating night clubs that were introduced in 1994 moored on the Nile
banks ­ residents can't park at night due to it
Very loud prayer calls come from speakers in the Mosques ­ instead of it being a joy to listen to, it is torture for our ears…read more

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