Table of Contents
Despite the fact that civilization has improved the way humans access resources and meet their needs, the related perils are also immense. It is a fact that most countries that have pursued industrialization face the inescapable fate of environmental degradation, and Bahrain has been trapped in the same problem (Mena-perspectives, 2015). So far, the principal environmental problems facing Bahrain include but not limited to the scarcity of water, desertification, atmospheric pollution, urbanization, and alteration of water levels. In about a decade, the government has attempted to limit the environmental degradation, especially the extraction of ground water and the protection of its vegetation but the problems persist. To that accord, the paper aims to provide a comprehensive report of the principle environmental problems in Bahrain to enable the government and responsible institutions mitigate the hazards and provide a solution for the benefit of the current and future population (UNEP, 2017).
Water and sea
Firstly, the water resources in Bahrain are scarce and complicated, and the rising sea level is rising at an alarming rate. The water resource council of Bahrain identified that most the water used in Bahrain comes from shallow and deep aquifers, groundwater, and surface runoffs. However, this water is not sufficient to meet the rising demand for water in the country, and it is feared that in the next 25 years, the nation will suffer an immense water crisis (Raouf, 2009). Additionally, the rising sea levels are posing a potential threat to the water sources in the country. This phenomenon is a huge menace to the ground water available in the nation as it increases the salinity of pure water available for human use (Mena-perspectives, 2015). The changes in water salinity due to rising sea levels has affected the potability of groundwater and has promoted algal blooms as well as bacteria and fungi content, which is harmful for human consumption (Raouf, 2009).
A second issue prevalent Bahrain is air pollution. Air pollution is caused when harmful solid particles and gasses mix in the air. On an international scope, Bahrain’s air is ranked as the most poisonous atmosphere. This condition has compromised the health of many occupants leading to a high susceptibility to lung and heart problems and potentials of premature death (Mena-perspectives, 2015). Most of the air pollution is caused by the massive emission of carbon dioxide. Although the percentage quantity of carbon dioxide is 0.1 per cent, Bahrain is the sixth highest emitter of poisonous gas in the entire world. It is noted that 49% of air pollution in the nation is due to car emission as 20% results from factories and natural causes such as sandstorms and evaporations from seawater (Mena-perspectives, 2015).
A third environmental issue in Bahrain is urbanization. Urbanization involves the development of structures and facilities to enable people to meet their needs with ease (Mena-perspectives, 2015). The high population in Bahrain cities has triggered the vast development of structures and facilities to facilitate efficiency and effectiveness as people attempt to satisfy their needs. However, Bahrain is facing destabilization issues due to urbanization. As the population increases, the problems of housing also increase relatively. The number of slums is expanding, and the conditions of houses are depreciating especially for people with low incomes. There is a lot of traffic congestions, and the related noise is quite unbearable (Mena-perspectives, 2015). Further, the level of poverty is also threatening to increase due to unemployment and unsustainable levels of income.
Encroached sea land
A fourth issue includes the encroachment of the sea levels for land. In Bahrain, a majority of the sea-land is being encroached for human settlement and significant human activities. Despite the numerous opportunities revealed from the encroachment, it is feared that Bahrain is at risk due to the rising sea levels since 50% of the population of the country is highly affected by the extreme scenario. The Bahrain Bay, Durrat Al Bahrain, and DiyarAlMuharraq are some of the lands developed from the encroached sea. This activity has led to a massive destruction of biodiversity in the sea and increased the level of pollution at sea due to human activities performed in the new lands (Mena-perspectives, 2015).
The fifth issue concerns the spilling of oil in the ocean. Most the industrial development in Bahrain is concentrated along the coastline. Despite the regulations passed to restrict the spilling of oil into the ocean, some industries are still ignorant and have managed to dispose of oil substance directly in the ocean (Mena-perspectives, 2015). This has endangered the life of some important and rare ocean species such as the Dugong, Green Turtle, Dolphin, and Socotra. Also, the oil released to the ocean is harmful to the ecosystems existing in the ocean. It has affected the development of coral reefs, which is a large source of food for most of the ocean life. Further, the oil abstracts the ecosystem around the ocean leading to the death of many other untold species (UNEP, 2017).
Finally, the amount of waste accumulation in Bahrain is increasing at an alarming rate. It is noted that Bahrain is among the leading nations in the production of waste per person. This is due to the high population hosted by the country (Mena-perspectives, 2015). The increasing waste is likely to cause serious consequences on the groundwater, soil, and air of Bahrain (Zafar, 2014). Therefore, scarcity of land is quite pronounced, and there are limited sites where waste can be disposed (Zafar, 2014). Due to that, the process of managing solid waste is challenging and intensively involving. For instance, Askar which is the only functional dumpsite in Bahrain has made successful attempts to manage municipal waste, agricultural waste and non-harmful by-products from industries. However, the landfill is still challenged with the task of improving its capacity within the next five years (Zafar, 2014).
Therefore, it is clear that Bahrain has a big task of addressing the intense environmental issues it is currently facing. The government has attempted to develop agencies to address the problems, and the people are optimistic that the environmental situation will change for the better. With increased awareness of environmental conservation, the serenity of Bahrain can be restored.
- Mena-perspectives. (2015).Post #4 – Environmental Issues of Bahrain.
- Raouf, M. (2009).Water Issues in the Gulf: Time for Action. Middle East Institute. Washington DC.
- UNEP.(2017).Chapter 2: Regional Perspectives.Global environment outlook. Washington DC.
- Zafar, S. (2014).Solid Waste Management in Bahrain.EcoMENA.