An estimated 24 billion tons of fertile soil is lost each year. Human-induced soil degradation has affected 24 per cent of the inhabited land area.

Soil contamination in Kuwait

This holds also true for Kuwait. Over 114 square kilometres of Kuwait’s soil was damaged by crude oil released when retreating Iraqi troops detonated 798 oil wells in Kuwait in 1991. The flow of crude oil and seawater used to extinguish the burning oil wells accumulated in depressions in the desert areas, contaminating over 40 million cubic metres of soil. The historical legacy of Oil & Gas Exploration & Production operations in Kuwait has also harmed the natural desert environment, particularly the soils. Around 6,840 contaminated sites have been identified by the Kuwait Oil Company. Typical non-operational redundant polluted features include effluent pits (produced water is disposed), sludge pits (recovered oil from spills/leaks is disposed), contaminated soil piles (oil-soaked soil); gatch quarry pits (for construction purposes), etc.