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S U DA N World Environmental Review

January 2012

ATTENTION GRABBING TITLE

NEW DUMPING GROUND? Plight of Africa UN backs away


SUDAN A Troubled Land? Edited by Your Name can go here


Contents Overview of Sudan 6 Natural Disasters 6 Key Challanges for Sudan Environmental 8 Socioeconomic 9

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The plight of Africa Sudan is an example that projects the environmental plight of Africa, south of the Sahara – drought and desertification, floods, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, tribal and ethnic conflict and poverty are only too common. As a result, interest and commitment to environmental impact assessment practices have become mandatory by donors when executing new development projects. Older projects, however, continue to escape notice. New projects compile their own ‘ EIA’ with no genuine efforts to legalize and institutionalize EIA


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o doubt accumulating indigenous knowledge and cultures are influenced by natural resources and the intensity of their use. In this respect Sudan could be taken as an example of the whole Sudano-Sahelian Belt, across Africa south of the Sahara. Historically tribal communities were well organized in mitigating natural disasters like fire and the invasion by the desert locust. Managing natural resources became more institutionally efficient after the re-conquest of Sudan in 1898. The first environmental law enacted was the Forestry Act of 1901, followed by the Land Tenure Law of 1908. The early 30s witnessed several environmental initiatives. The 40s produced the ‘Stepping Report’ on desert encroachment in Sudan and neighbouring African Countries.

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ith an area of around 2.5 million square km Sudan stretches between latitudes 4 and 22 North. It is mostly flat plains with a few mountain areas, the highest of which is Jebel Marra massive in the west.


Overview of Sudan Natural Disasters No doubt accumulating indigenous knowledge and cultures are influenced by natural resources and the intensity of their use. In this respect Sudan could be taken as an example of the whole Sudano-Sahelian Belt, across Africa south of the Sahara. Historically tribal communities were well organized in mitigating natural disasters like fire and the invasion by the desert locust. Managing natural resources became more institutionally efficient after the re-conquest of Sudan in 1898. The first environmental law enacted was the Forestry Act of 1901, followed by the Land Tenure Law of 1908. The early 30s witnessed several environmental initiatives. The 40s produced the ‘Stepping Report’ on desert encroachment in Sudan and neighbouring African Countries. The Forestry Law came into force in 1932, the Wildlife Act and the proclamation of several National Parks came in 1935. The Land Use Committee was also established in 1944. It was a good record! Management of resources, however, was focused on exporting raw materials to the benefit of colonial countries. With an area of

around 2.5 million square km Sudan stretches between latitudes 4 and 22 North. It is mostly flat plains with a few mountain areas, the highest of which is Jebel Marra massive in the west. It is bounded by nine countries and a coastline around 650km on the east. Sudan has around 2000 million ha of surface water the most important of which is a 4000 km stretch of the Nile and tributaries. Rainfall ranges between almost nothing\ in the barren deserts of the north to about 1400mm in the southern subhumid parts of the country. The climate is tropical and is one of the hottest in the world with vast daily and seasonal variations in temperature. According to the 1993 census Sudan is inhabited by almost 25 million people of whom 25% live in the capital, Khartoum. They belong to about 700 tribes speaking more than 300 dialects and languages. The rate of growth is around 2.9%. About 80% of the population depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Cotton, oil seeds, gum arabic and livestock are the main exports of the country.


FACTS

Hundreds of thousands of Sudanese will starve due to a severe drought in many parts of war-torn Sudan if sufficient food aid fails to reach them, the United Nations is warning. The earth is so dry it is cracking up, livestock are getting thin and people are searching for water in areas where famine killed hundreds of thousands in the eighties and nineties, UN officials told AFP. “The drought is here right now. It’s a fact. Now we’re just waiting to see the effects,” said Maxwell Gaylard, chief of the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) in Khartoum. Starvation will set in by April when local food supplies run out unless aid reaches them, Gaylard said, adding that the amounts pledged so far by donor countries would not be enough to feed

everyone. One reservoir that serves around 100 villages south of alFasher in western Sudan has run dry for the first time since 1972, Gumaa Sayyed Gumaa of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) told AFP after a visit there. The drought has already hit North Darfur in west Sudan, North Kordofan in the centre, as well as the southeastern states of East Equitoria and Jonglei, and Bahr alGhazal in the southwest, UN missions have reported. A total of 900,000 people will be affected by drought in those areas, 400,000 of them severely, according to an internal UN document. Gaylard himself said more than one million will be affected. They face starvation, forced migration, loss of income and clashes with tribes competing over dwindling water and food.

Fast Facts Population: 36,787,012 Capital: Khartoum; 4,286,000 Area: 1,861,484 square kilometers (718,723 square miles) Language: Arabic, Nubian, Ta Bedawie, many local dialects Religion: Sunni Muslim, indigenous beliefs, Christian Currency: Sudanese pound Life Expectancy: 55 GDP per Capita: U.S. $2,300 Literacy Percent: 61

Other UN sources said Sudan’s 17-year-old civil war would make it harder to get food aid to rebel-held parts of Eastern Equitoria state where the government is refusing to give permission for UN humanitarian flights to land. “If the situation is complicated by a resurgence of fighting between the SPLM (rebels) and the government, as we usually see at this time of year, it’s going to get really sticky,” said one UN official who asked not to be named. The UN officials are asking donors to act swiftly to avoid a repeat of the famine that left around 250,000 people dead in 1985 and the devastating food crisis that hit wartorn Bahr al-Ghazal in 1998.


Key Challanges for Sudan Environmental Environmental problems constitute one of the key challenges on the African continent in the 21st century. Focus is gradually shifting from politics, wars, and poverty to environmental issues. This is mainly the result of the development of new technologies, which has generated an increase in solid mineral mining, oil exploration, an increase in the number of plants and factories, and the overall upsurge in the application of manufacturing tools. The quality and richness of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments have been polluted and subsequently declined. It is therefore safe to say that new developments in industry and manufacturing are the root causes of environmental degradation over the past three decades. This has been exacerbated by rapid population growth, urbanization, energy consumption, overgrazing, over-cultivation of lands,

and industrial advancements engendered by globalization. Environmental problems in Africa are therefore partly anthropogenic or human-induced (though not necessarily by Africans), which is the result of the effect of chemical and human waste on all forms of ecological and human life. But natural causes cannot be overlooked and consist of: Earthquakes (the Great Rift Valley is geologically active and particularly susceptible to this phenomenon) Hot springs and active volcanoes are also found to the extreme east of the Rift Valley Erosion Deforestation Desertification Drought


Socioeconomic The socioeconomic impact of environmental deterioration on Africa continues to pose a major problem to development, stability, and daily lifestyles. Africa has contributed less than any other region to greenhouse gas emissions that are widely held responsible for global warming. But the continent is also the most vulnerable to the consequences. Other dire consequences of environmental degradation include: Depletion of farming lands Depletion of natural habitat for aquatic and land animals Decline in biological diversity (the variety of all life on earth, the complex relationships among living things, and the relationships between living things and their environment) Aquatic pollution, adversely affecting the livelihood of fishing communities and destroying fish and other water creatures (at the 2002 World Summit on sustainable Development (WSSD) which was held in South Africa, the causes of water pollution were cited as: oil transmission through ship-

ping ports, poor water resources management, absence of effective regional and basin development plans, and underestimation of the groundwater potential to supplement irrigation and drinking water supplies.) Environmental challenges are aggravated by population growth in Africa. At approximately 2.2 percent annually, subSaharan Africa has one of the world's fastest growing populations. By the year 2025 the population of Africa is estimated to be over a billion. This means that environmental problems could double or triple. Like increased populations, poverty, another major problem on the African continent, also leads to a greater exploitation of natural resources for survival, and this worsens the environmental problems with the degradation of agriculture and arable lands, and mismanagement of available water resources.


Bibliography

http://www.unep.ch/etu/publications/11%29%2027%20to%2036.pdf http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/sudan-facts/# http://southsudanfriends.org/News/Drought2001.html http://www.africasummit.org/publications/Environment.pdf http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Country_Specific/Sudan.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14094995 http://wastemanagement.einnews.com/country/sudan


Sudan  

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