Two-way discussion : Environment
- Is water pollution a problem in your country?
Well, water is considered as one of the most important elements of the environment and is polluted in numerous ways. This is a great problem for South Africa.
This is a serious threat to the public health and the economy of the country. Thank you very much for allowing me to have my opinion on the topic. Water, in South Africa, is polluted in numerous ways and mostly the industries are responsible for the pollutions. Minning industry, urbanisation, population increase etc. are the key cause of the pollution. People lack the pure drinking water in some of the parts of the country and sanitation is also a problem for them. Wastes materials are getting mixed with water of different water bodies while in some part of the country, the mining industries are releasing toxic materials to get mixed with the water which is causing the pollution. Moreover, the constant growth of the population is also responsible to some extent. Since they do not have the right sanitation system, the dispose the human and other waste materials into the water which make the water polluted to the greatest extent. A wide variety of germs and bacteria get mixed with the water and make the entire water usable and sometimes odour comes out of the water as well.
- What are some of the causes of water pollution?
I think you are informed that the environment could be spoilt with numerous ways and water being an important element is mostly polluted by three specific ways in South Africa. The land is enriched with natural resource and coal is one of them. Hence, coal mining is a profitable industry in Southern Africa. But it has different detrimental impacts on the environment and greatly destroys the soil, water and air. The chemical remaining, after the coal mining, is released in water which consequently makes the water toxic and unusable. The contaminated water usually damages the plants and animals which come in close contact with the water. Secondly, I will point finger at the urbanisation process. Most of the rural people are moving in the cities for a better living while the city cannot accommodate the expanding population. As a result, to meet the growing demands, the internal city systems like sewerage collapses sometimes. It also pollutes the water and different diseases spread across the cities and makes the people suffer a lot. The final cause of water contamination, in my opinion, is the oil spilling. A huge amount of oil is transported to different other countries and the oil spills make the water of Southern Africa polluted and threatens the entire ecosystem.
- What can individuals do to try and ensure water is kept clean?
Ahh! A massive awareness is required for the prevention, I think. You won’t believe how water is polluted in the urban areas only as the polluters do not have the idea that they are damaging the water. If they had the right knowledge, I think they would be more careful over the water waste. Besides, the mining industries should be careful about releasing their waste and toxic chemicals. If they dispose of the chemicals and toxic materials produced from the coal mining, I believe the water pollution level will decrease to a great extent. Besides, government initiatives are also required over the pollution prevention. There should be specific rules to use the water bodies and penalties against the pollution. When the government will enforce the policies, the commoners will tend to get rid of the penalties and thus the pollution level will decrease to the desired extent. Don’t you think a massive campaign is effective in this case? I think a large campaign to prevent the water pollution should be undertaken so that people could be aware of the water contamination and come forward to prevent it willingly.
- Do you think problems with the cleanliness of water will improve in the future?
Well, this is a crucial question as future is always unpredictable and uncertain. But it is hopeful for South Africa that still there are chances to improve in the sector, and I think if the people could be made aware of the detrimental impacts of water pollution, the importance of cleanliness in their daily lives and with legal bindings against water pollution, then it would be possible to improve the situation. For the improvement, it will require much time as the habits of polluting water did not form overnight and thus it could not be solved within a short time. If the measures are adopted now, it is anticipated that within next three to five years, the scenario will have a substantial change. The current attempts which are adopted by both public and private initiatives are not enough, I think and thus the attempts should be raised immediately.