KHARTOUM, June 5 (Xinhua) -- On the occasion of the World Environment Day, Sudan government has declared a campaign to eliminate plastic pollution.
According to official statistics, around 180,000 tones of plastic materials spread in Sudan, constituting one of the biggest environmental pollution in the country.
"The pollution resulting from plastic use constitutes the biggest threat to environment in Sudan," said Sudan's State Minister for Environment Abboud Jabir Saeed.
"The spread of 180,000 tons of plastic materials ... rings alarm bells," he noted.
"On the occasion of the World Environment Day, we declare a national campaign involving the official authorities, civil society organizations and categories of the people," he announced.
He said the campaign tends to raise the awareness with the threats caused by plastic materials together with their impact on human health.
It also tends to achieve realistic alternatives to replace the use of plastic materials, he added, mentioning ways to fight plastic materials by preventing the manufacturing and circulation of plastic bags.
The world is celebrating Tuesday the World Environment Day, under the theme "Beating Plastic Pollution."
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Sudan issued a statement saying the world environment day "is the UN's most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment."
In the meantime, apart from the plastic pollution, Sudan is facing other environment issues, top of them desertification or desert encroachment.
"Desertification is one of the phenomena threatening the environment in Sudan. It is a problem that has been going on for a long time," said Saeed.
According to official statistics, desert encroachment expanded in 14 Sudanese states and covered around 3 percent of the land's total areas, at a time when local studies indicated that about 64 percent of the Sudanese land is exposed to desertification due to natural or human factors.
Desertification, among other reasons, contributes to the growing phenomenon of migration from rural areas to towns and the increasing disputes among communities over fertile lands.
For decades, official and popular efforts in Sudan have failed to find means to keep the environmental balance, curb up desert encroachment and lessen impact of drought waves.
In 2016, the Sudanese government launched the "Green Belt" project, which integrates local and artificial plant formations, pastoral units and animal barns to stablize the sand and stop desertification.