Ghana: Reducing Air Pollution in Accra

11 December 2019

Air pollution is a type of environmental pollution that affects the air and is usually caused by smoke or other harmful gases, mainly oxides of carbon, sulphur and nitrogen.

Air pollution has been classified as a danger to human health and Earth's many ecosystems for a long time.

It is caused by solid and liquid particles and certain gases that are suspended in the air. These particles and gases can come from car and truck exhaust, factories, dust, pollen, mold spores, volcanoes and wildfires.

Long-term exposure to polluted air can have permanent health effects such as accelerated aging of the lungs, loss of lung capacity and decreased lung function, development of diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and possibly cancer.

Along with harming human health, air pollution can cause a variety of environmental effect such a cid rain is precipitation containing harmful amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids. These acids are formed primarily by nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned.

It may cause diseases, allergies and even death to humans; it may also cause harm to other living organisms such as animals and food crops, and may damage the natural or built environment. Both human activity and natural processes can generate air pollution.

Specific means of pollution control might include refuse disposal systems such as sanitary landfills, emission control systems for automobiles, sedimentation tanks in sewerage systems, the electrostatic precipitation of impurities from industrial gas, or the practice of recycling.

In Ghana and Accra in particular lack the air pollution control facilities thus exposing city dwellers to harmful diseases.

The good news, however, is that from May 2020, the Environmental Protection Authority will be providing its personnel with training to enable them to monitor and provide real time data on air quality in Accra.

According to Mr. Emmanuel E-K Appoh, Chief Programme Officer, Environmental Quality Department, all is set for the training to start next year to address the hydra-headed air pollution concerns in the capital city of Ghana.

Once the training is completed, he said, the personnel would be able to predict pollution episodes in good time to prevent air pollution threats to persons suffering from asthma and cardiovascular diseases.

Indeed, air pollution in Accra puts everyone at risk of being infected with cardiovascular diseases.

It is therefore important for everyone to join in the efforts to fight against air pollution.

We call on the government to intensify efforts at implementing programs to ensure that Ghanaians breathe quality air.

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