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31 March, 06:36

dentify and describe two environmental challenges facing Africa. Which challenge do you think needs the most immediate attention? Why?

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  1. 31 March, 08:22
    Deforestation, water pollution, coal mining, nuclear waste, over fishing and industrial agriculture are just a few environmental issues facing Africa, but in my opinion coal mining is the most pressing as it involves other problems like deforestation and water pollution.

    Here are a few ways it harms the environment:

    Miners clear areas of trees to prepare the land for mining.

    Coal mining releases toxic materials into the soil and water.

    Bad mining can start coal fires which can burn for decades - releasing "fly ash" and smoke filled with greenhouse gases and toxic chemicals.

    It releases coal mine methane which is 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

    Strip mining accounts for 40% of the world's coal mines and the practices destroys landscapes, forests and wildlife habitation. It usually requires mountain blasting and the removal of trees and plants in the mining area.

    Coal mining increases the risk of loosening top soils into streams and waterways and the sediments pollute our water and can smother plant life downstream and even kill fish.

    Coal has traces of sulfur and nitrogen. When burned, these are released into the atmosphere. While these chemicals are floating in the air, they can mix with water vapor and fall back to earth as Acid Rain.

    Coal is made of carbon. When burned, the carbon combines with oxygen and forms carbon dioxide - one of the main contributors to global warming and air pollution.

    Aside from carbon, the burning of coal releases sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury compounds into the air.

    When rain falls on coal stored in piles outside, the water that comes from these piles will contain heavy metal such as arsenic and lead, which can seep into the land and nearby bodies of water - killing fish and plant life.

    Coal dust can cause respiratory problems in humans.

    In summary, coal mining has negative effects both in the long run an in the short run.
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