Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Here Comes The Cloud

Masry el Youm today reported that the farmers have started burning the rice straw in the fields in the Delta. This happens every year and every year I get angry about it. The smoke comes from the north nearer the sea, but is blown south to the Cairo/Giza area by the prevailing winds which blow southwards up the Nile. So in addition to the horrible mess that the cities produce in the air made up of industrial pollution, diesel exhaust, gasoline exhaust and so on, we have smoke. Throats become sore, eyes tear and swell, noses run and get stuffy. The ordinary day to day pollution of the valley is so bad already because of the inversion layer (heat and pollutants rising from the valley is trapped beneath a layer of cooler air from the sea and desert) that we truly don't need this.

The real annoyance to me, however, is the fact that rice straw is a perfectly good animal feed. There has been almost no education done among farmers who know it as bedding or compost only. Here we have a total waste of animal feed in a country where animals are still so much a part of our lives. Part of the problem is the lack of baling machines in the Delta where they grow the rice. Last year we did some checking around about the rice straw situation figuring that maybe we could get it cheaper from the farmers...which we could if they had baling machines.

Egypt could solve one of its annual problems with something so simple.

copyright 2010 Maryanne Stroud Gabbani


Anonymous said...

Just a note to say hope the legs are better. And as for the burning... what can we do in a nation where an Egyptian colleague of mine who had a Masters from AUC, years ago, stated that I should not have plants in my bedroom because they would take the breath from me overnight. Folklore write large. And based on base ignorance.

Zampano said...

I was very encouraged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read. I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

PipeTobacco said...


I have not been around your blog in a bit (not purposefully... just life became too hectic for a while). But I must say how happy I am again to be back reading. I so very much enjoy reading about day-to-day differences inherent in living in a different environment from my own.

I agree with you that it is sad that a feed for livestock is not effectively able to be used currently and is instead contributing to air pollution.

Thank you for writing about day-to-day occurrences!


Anonymous said...

Awesome pictures!

I have yet to explore what Egypt has to offer. I can imagine it being a drastic change from living in Canada though!

Say, being a Canadian, do you have adequate Medical Insurance for Canadians abroad or expatriates?

If not, I recommed it!

John Falchetto said...

Having lived in Egypt in the late 90s I always feel I left a little part of me in that country. Reading your blog reminds of how great this country is and how things like burning the rice straw never changes. I didn't know it could be use for other things, sad to know that such and easy solution could provide a huge relief to air pollution in Cairo.

Mohaly said...

Sometime I do feel that there is someone who benefits from this situation. People can't be that stupid and cant solve such a silly problem in 10 years!