How industrial activities are contributing to environmental degradation
We may be making great industrial strides but the quality of our life is shrinking by the day!
With industrial revolution in most cities of the world comes the non-relenting challenge of environmental degradation. The two are inter-linked in that there is seldom any industrial growth without major negative impacts on the environment.
With every sky-scrapping industrial chimney coming up, the quality of the environment goes down. This is because with the chimneys comes the reality of greenhouse gas emissions.
A greenhouse gas is a chemical compound found in the Earth’s atmosphere. Acting as gases, these compounds allow sunlight to enter the atmosphere freely. As sunlight strikes the Earth, some is re-radiated off the Earth’s surface and back towards space in the form of infrared radiation, or heat. This heat is absorbed by greenhouse gases and trapped in our atmosphere. The Industrial Revolution was a turning point for our society in many ways. With industry we saw the growth of our economy paralleled by the increase in the level of greenhouse gas emissions. Several greenhouse gases have increased by approximately 25 percent in the last 150 years. Anthropogenic emissions are those caused by man. In the last two decades, almost 75 percent of these anthropogenic emissions come from the burning of fossil fuels. (Publication; Joni Kethi 2013).
It is these emissions from fossil fuels combined with human activities and the explosive industrial growth in our town and cities that is affecting our weather patterns and simply interfering with the quality of the air we breathe. In the long run, even the quality of the precipitation within these emissions becomes questionable.
This is how we are killing our rain.
Recently on June 26th, the World Bank’s assessment on Africa’s governments Policies and Institutions revealed that Kenya is amongst 11 countries in sub-Saharan Africa whose overall stable growth rose by 1.0. Most of these are pegged on Economic growth and by extension the growth of Industries.
Nonetheless, the effects of smog in the air, dust emissions, pollution of rivers and lakes and the stench that characterizes most industries has become a source of despair for communities living around the industries and its environs.
The eco-system has been badly degraded and people suffer air and water-borne diseases that continue to defy contemporary medication and are increasingly proving fatal.
Ultimately, the reality of environmental degradation arising from industrial pollution questions the sanity of a country that values its industrial growth more than the lives of its people.
This is the urgent cry which governments and establishments may ignore at their peril.
Times have changed and so has the climate. Some changes have been positive and sadly some are persistently negative – changes such as those on the environment. Industries have a lot to answer for this.
There is only one earth to live in and if industrial growth is poised to destroy it then sooner there would be no earth to speak of!