March 6, 2023 healthcare

Combating pollution a must to protect food security, quality

KUWAIT: Environmental pollution and climate change have become an undeniable global crisis that must be prioritized among other issues that various nations are facing. The wellbeing and existence of humans and different creatures, global food security and quality, as well as other living fundamentals are all connected to the environment’s stability.

President of Kuwait Environment Protection Society (KEPS) Wejdan Al-Oqab told Kuwait Times: “The global crisis has pushed multiple nations from around the globe to set strategies to find solutions and stop the problem from growing.” She pointed out that sustainable development goals are set to be achieved by 2030, with three directly related to fundamental environment elements – focusing on water and sea life, the land (soil and rocks) and climate action. “These three goals represent the core of sustainable development,” she said.

Oqab emphasized the negative effects of pollution on food quality and security, especially since unhealthy chemicals and plastics have been found in every level of the food chain. She began by shedding light on the importance of clean seas. “Sea creatures are the source of food for many populations. This means that sea pollution puts such populations on the verge of a food shortage crisis and increases the threat of starvation,” she said.

Similarly, Oqab signified the importance of keeping earth free from damage and pollution. “Dealing with a polluted environment will definitely affect food and water security because pollution negatively affects the quality and quantity of agricultural produce. Unhealthy materials and chemical elements move through the food chain until they end up in the consumers’ systems.”

According to Oqab, health-damaging materials such as plastic are becoming an increasingly dangerous issue that is destroying nature. “Studies have shown that nano plastic particles are found inside human food. Therefore, controlling pollution is a priority to prevent the issue from getting worse. Studies have also proven that throughout the years chemicals accumulate in some types of food and transfer through the food chain. This means we would need to stop consuming these foods, which could lead to overconsumption of other foods, consequently putting pressure on our limited resources.”

Oqab added that KEPS makes great efforts to raise awareness about the importance of maintaining a habitable environment that is free from factors contributing to pollution such as non-biodegradable trash, especially plastic, which never fully decomposes but only breaks down into very small particles.

KEPS is working on several fronts to raise awareness among different groups of people in society. They focus on youth through “green school programs”, which aim to educate students about the environment. They also spread awareness through media by creating informative and entertaining programs, with Kuwait being the main focus, as well as taking part in exhibitions that allow effective face-to-face interaction with people.

KEPS also collaborates with different government bodies in Kuwait. Oqab said: “KEPS is in continuous connection with the public sector to provide decision makers with enough information about the state’s environmental situation, such as the National Assembly’s environment committee, Kuwait Municipality, Kuwait Environment Public Authority and others.”


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