KHARTOUM, SUDAN — Environmental problems have a particularly devastating impact on impoverished communities already strained for resources. Soil erosion and land degradation create food shortages, pollution and insufficient waste management contaminate water while increased occurrences of extreme weather cause disastrous damage to community infrastructure and resources. Further entrenching poverty, the world’s poor are the most vulnerable to the consequences of climate change and environmental pollution.

Environmental Degradation in Sudan

Khartoum, the capital and largest city of Sudan, has experienced severe environmental degradation mostly due to deforestation. This has left the city vulnerable to increased instances of extreme weather by exposing the city’s 6.3 million residents to floods, dust storms and heat waves. Khartoum has become one of the hottest cities in the world, experiencing both an increase in temperature and extreme weather in the last few years.

The rest of Sudan is not much different. Along with deforestation, a U.N. environmental report describes serious land degradation, loss of biodiversity and significant air, land and water pollution in the nation. All of these environmental problems are intensified by the changing climate, making these environmental startups all the more important.

Poverty and the Environment in Sudan

Almost half of Sudan’s population lives below the poverty line, about 46.5 percent, and environmental problems only worsen this statistic. To deal with severe weather like floods or heat waves, poor households must reduce the amount of food they eat, withdraw their children from school to work on the farm or with livestock, default on loans and liquidate productive assets. These practices allow poor families to sustain themselves during an environmental disaster but inhibit their ability to improve their financial situation.

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