Editorial

TIME TO TACKLE AIR POLLUTION IN GHANA

THE World Health Organisation has again given a damning verdict on air pollution in Ghana, which it described as alarming.

It, therefore, called on the country to take drastic measures to improve Air Quality (AQ) in the country.

According to the National Programme Officer of WHO, the pollution has reached an annual mean concentration of 31.1 microgrammes per cubic meter as compared to the WHO standard of 10 microgrammes per cubic meter.

What this means is that air pollution in the country has breached the limits set by the WHO.

The effect is that more people are being affected by air pollution, which is associated with heart diseases, asthma, stroke and lung cancer.

As far back as 2012, statistics showed that 28,000 people died from various air related diseases due to severe pollution.

Today, WHO is estimating that Accra AQ alone has been breached eight times more, thereby increasing the likelihood of more people being affected by air pollution.

Consequently, air pollution related deaths are on the rise as AQ continues to be breached by urban population and both industrial and vehicular emissions.

Indeed, dangerous lusts of toxic air, mainly from car exhaust, rubbish fires, road dust and soot from biomass-fueled cook-stoves are said to be killing Ghanaians every year.

Besides, air pollution is linked to around seven million premature deaths worldwide every year with developing countries such as Ghana, Nigeria and Indian worst affected.

The Ghanaian Times is concerned about the alarming level of air pollution in the country and its related effect on the health of the people.

We are worried that no much effort is being made to monitor air quality.

Our information is that AQ monitoring is limited to only 15 locations concentrated in the Greater Accra Region, with none in the rest of the country.

This obviously is not enough. We must take monitoring of air pollution more serious in order to meet the WHO recommended level.

We call on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to intensify its public education role and also inform citizens about air quality in the country.

It is important for everyone to be equipped with information, particularly real-time air quality information, so that everyone can make an informed decision in order to save lives.

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