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Volume :19 Issue : 74 1994      Add To Cart                                                                    Download


Auther : By: Dr. Abdul Rahman Al Awadi


Wars are man-made catastrophies. Their impact are not confined to human, economic and military resources, but are extended to include environmental resources of the hostile countries. The wars that were waged in the Gulf areas such as the Iran-Iraq war, and the Desert Storm had their profound impact on the environment.

The Iraqi regime, in addition to looting, plundering and destroying the civil foundations during its sordid occupation of Kuwait, had committed the most draconian action made by man all over history. The Iraqi occupation army had set fire and destroyed more than 900 Kuwait oil wells in addition to pouring 6-8 million oil barrels in the maritime zone waters of the Maritime Environment Protection Regional Organization. These devilish actions had spoiled the environment along the Saudi and Kuwaiti shores, influenced directly the maritime creatures living in those areas and continuously jeopardized and threatened the countries of this area.

The environmental destruction caused by the Iraqi regime had been comprehensive because it included land, sea and atmosphere. This destruction had created a unique phenomenon, which polarized the world attention because of the hazard results not only on Kuwait but also upon the neighbouring countries.

The organization perceived since the very moment the oil oozed out that the regional and international organizations should coordinate to combat oil pollution and observe environmental situation in the area. Setting fire to the oil wells had affected greatly both atmosphere and the soil in the area.

Therefore, the Regional Organization for Protecting the Maritime Environment had made a comprehensive plan for water, soil and maritime environment in collaboration with the UN programme, UN organizations and other ones interested in environment affairs. This collaboration would help to restrict the damage that had befallen the environment and rehabilitate it.

Oil-well fires caused danger to public health on the short and long run. Although all reports indicated that the immediate impacts had ended, yet continual expose to these contaminations for a long time and their futuristic effects on health are not conspious for the time being. Therefore, the damaged countries should follow up these impacts for long period and register the results obtained as lessons gained from wars.

The direct impact of oil oozing was confined to devastated shore-systems at all the areas overflowed with oil and this was concentrated on the Saudi Arabian shores. The damaged eco-systems regained their productive standards. Reports didn’t indicate the production quality or if there were any change in the qualitative structure of the creatures of these areas. The matter needs wide studies to recognize accurately the way these eco-system would regain its normal production.

Oil oozing was accompanied by a certain phenomenon. Numerous main oil components and others, which were formulated as a result of decay by bacteria or heat or light oxidation, were melted. Certainly these chemical reactions would have affected the fish grounds in these areas, which is an important economic sector for the countries of this region. So it is most important to study these fishing grounds for long terms before little continual changes may lead to comprehensive conversion of the fishing grounds of such areas, which is inconvenient diversion.

The creatures highly damaged by the environmental catastrophy were those living in tidal zones and in vegetation areas overflowed by oozed oil. Sea birds were also affected. It is estimated that 30 thousand birds were perished in maritime environmental catastrophy which would negatively affect the number of birds flying into these areas in the future.

The environmental catastrophy formulates a real challenge that we have to resist. It is noteworthy that environment is an integrated crucible (pot), which acts and reacts as the part interacts with the whole, air, water and soil can’t be partitioned as God has integrated them in one pot. This situation obliges us to face these challenges through continual cooperation between the whole foundations and organizations in and outside Kuwait.

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Dec 26, 2021

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