July 19, 2019

Air pollution kills over 14, 000 Kenyans annually

The United Nations has revealed in a new report that 14, 300 Kenyans succumb every year in air pollution related complications. Pneumonia is one of the biggest diseases associated with air pollution and has led to half of all the global deaths associated with air pollution.

Mr. Rob de Jong, head of the UNEP Transport said that imported second hand vehicles and frequent traffic jams, along with poor vehicle maintenance have contributed to the rise of air pollution problem in Kenya.

‘‘Kenya has made great strides towards containing pollution from car exhaust emissions, but more needs to be done. Kenya is among the countries in the world that made a decision to allow only low sulphur fuels would be allowed in,’’ said Mr. de Jong.

Mr. Rob de Jong was speaking on Tuesday as he launched the shocking report at the UN offices in Gigiri. The report also revealed that air quality monitoring does not exist in Kenya although a few cases of air monitoring have happened after public outrage but thereafter abandoned. Many developing countries do not possess the necessary technology to monitor air quality.

A report by United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP] comprehensively catalogued environmental assaults across six different major regions of the globe.

‘‘Damage to the planet is happening more rapidly than before, through slights ranging from air pollution, to the proliferation of human and toxic waste, to water scarcity and climate change,’’ indicated the UNEP report.

In August 2015, Kenya unveiled an air pollution testing kit that at the time indicated that Nairobi’s air isn’t that polluted but revealed that Jogoo Road, Landhis Road and Outering Road as hotspots. Executive Director of the United Nations Achim Steiner described the technology as revolutionary, and one that could help save the lives of people lost prematurely every year.

It is noted that wood and kerosene, which are behind most of the pollution, are still the dominant fuels used by the less fortunate in society.

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