Kuwait's fire service teams put out a huge blaze at a scrap tire graveyard in the northwestern Jahra Governorate last week. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Kuwait has been ranked worst in the Gulf and second worst in the world as a destination for expats when it comes to environment and sustainability for 2020, according to a survey conducted by Internations International in 60 countries around the world, local media reported. In order for any country to be included in the sustainability classification for expatriates, it is necessary to have a survey of at least 75 participants in each country. This year, 60 countries met this requirement and more than a thousand expatriates participated in the survey.

Egypt (58th) and Kuwait (59th) join India (60th) at the bottom 3 of the Environment & Sustainability Ranking. The two countries performed much worse than other Middle Eastern destinations featured in the survey of Internations, such as Oman (21st), the UAE (22nd), Israel (23rd), Bahrain (29th), and Qatar (34th). Turkey (42nd) and Saudi Arabia (49th) also did significantly better in the overall ranking.

No green goods

Egypt (58th) ranked among the bottom 3 destinations in each subcategory, performing worst in the Products and Utilities subcategory (59th). The country came 58th in all three rating factors, which include the availability of green goods and services, its energy supply, and local waste management and recycling efforts.

Only in one indicator does Kuwait not end up in bottom 10: energy supply (50th). But not even half the expats (45 per cent) rates this factor positively — which is far below the global average (62 per cent).

The country ranks worst (60th out of 60) for lack of interest in environmental issues among the local population. As reported by the Legatum Prosperity Index 2019, both Egypt (107th out of 167 destinations worldwide) and Kuwait (78th) perform rather badly for investing in the environment.

The Internations survey listed Kuwait, India, Egypt, Indonesia and Vietnam as the worst expatriate destinations in terms of sustainability, and respondents in these countries often express their dissatisfaction with the effects of air pollution, lack of clean water and adequate sanitation for many residents, and lack of concern for the environment among the population.

The survey indicated that the performance of Kuwait, Egypt and India in the index was much worse than other destinations.

The Environment and Sustainability Ranking is based on three subcategories: Products and Utilities, Policies & Peoples, and Quality of Environment. In total, respondents were asked to share their satisfaction with eight individual rating factors. Two or three of these factors were then grouped together for each subcategory.

The Products and Utilities subcategory, for example, includes the availability of green goods and services. In the Policies & People subcategory expats rated, among other things, how much they think the local government supports policies to protect the environment. Lastly, the Quality of the Environment subcategory includes factors such as the natural environment and air quality.

Kuwait was the worst performer in the world in relation to its natural environment, and that more than 30 per cent of the expatriates surveyed in Kuwait negatively rate the infrastructure and sanitation in the country.

According to Internations, an Australian resident residing in Kuwait said: “Bad drainage; and health and waste management here is inefficient, and it is among the worst things in Kuwait.”

A South African expat in Kuwait stated that Kuwait has a culture of neglecting environmental matters, while another American resident expressed his belief that environmental issues are often overlooked in Kuwait and expressed her concern about poor air quality and the lack of green spaces and nature.