India and Africa: Striving for Environment Protection

Topics: Africa, African Union, Continent Pages: 5 (1994 words) Published: January 27, 2013
TOPIC :- How India and Africa compete , collaborate and co-create the future on environment issue


In a world ravaged with war, famine, nuclear waste and other disasters, a common concern for future occupies significant position between both the African continent and India. Though identifying similarities between the two cultures is not the same as identifying existing differences, this essay is an attempt towards finding a solution to environmental peril faced by the antediluvian nations. The mighty continent with its 54 recognised sovereign states (countries), 9 territories and three de facto states with limited recognition, has close ties with the vibrant country of 28 states and 7 union territories. Both Africa and India are known associates from the period of colonial rule, many African labourers or war slaves settled in India during the British colonial rule and similarly many Indians settled in the eastern Africa. The vital sea route brought Africa and India closer because they not only traded spices and other commodities but also several ships from both the regions harboured at each other’s ports. Mahatma Gandhi was the ambassador from the Indian shore to the continent; he fought against racial discrimination and other issues that plagued Africa during those days. Animism constitutes a major part of both the countries religious composition. The relationship is two centuries old and in this hour of urgency, where the environment is deteriorating at an alarming rate both the nations have to come together to compete, collaborate and co-create a sustainable future. Africa is the vital link between the western countries and the oriental countries, its ports aid in shipping and due to this its lands have been subjected to several degradations. The dumping activities carried out by the developed nations have immense impact on the environment. Tones of imported goods enter the African borders from all over the world; these goods constitute second hand electronics, hazardous metal, oil and other noxious elements which other countries feel free to dump in the African coast. The waste which has been imported along with the domestic waste that has been generated needs to be managed. India has a different take on the menace of waste. In the populous country the domestic waste itself is difficult to handle. According to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) India, 4.4 million tonnes waste is produced in India annually out of which 38.3% is recyclable, 4.3% is non recyclable and 57.4% is disposable in secured landfills, but nothing is been done till now in this direction. Urbanization is changing the socio-economic landscape of both Africa and India at a momentous rate; if numbers are to be believed Africa has the highest rate of urbanization i.e. 3.5% annually (according to the United Nations report). Therefore the need of the hour is to provide basic amenities with an efficient waste management system. In the resource rich continent of Africa several private players are on a rampant drive to dig out all wealth from the earth and its core. Mining of ores, diamond and other minerals has destroyed the surroundings and deprived other denizens their rights to use and preserve the common wealth. In the Indian sub-continent illegal mining and subsequent minting of money is the trend. Numerous companies across oceans have already started their battle to exploit the resources of the nation. The 26,000 kilometre long coastline makes Africa and its marine life vulnerable to oil spills. The gigantic tankers carrying gallons of perilous chemicals and gases are often subjected to nature’s fury or attacks which ultimately affects the environment. Indian shores are not far away from such degrading activities, numerous incidences have occurred in the past which highlight the incapability of the authority to fight back and restore. There are abundant other issues that...
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