EPA To Begin Daily Air Quality Broadcast
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it will soon begin a daily broadcast of air quality in the Accra metropolis.
The move, according to EPA, is in line with activities to make urban centres free of air pollution.
The Chief Programme Officer of the environmental quality department of the EPA, Emmanuel Appoh, who disclosed this to journalists, said a memorandum of understanding (MoU) had been signed between the agency and the World Bank for the daily broadcast of air quality to take off smoothly.
“The low cost air monitors that will be positioned in various areas of the city to monitor the air quality will be in the country by May and the project will start in June 2020,” he disclosed.
Mr. Appoh was speaking at a media sensitization workshop on improved air quality and health in Accra organized by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), with support from the World Health Organization (WHO), as part of the Urban Health Initiative (UHI).
He said Ghana has an annual mean concentration of 31.1 ug/m3 of particle matter of air pollutants compared with the WHO annual recommended guideline of 10 ug/m3.
In Ghana, the WHO estimates that 28,000 people die annually as a result of air pollution related diseases. The urban health initiative, therefore, aims to reduce death and diseases caused by air and climate pollutants and also to help cities reap the benefits of policies and measures that tackle air and climate pollution.
Comfort M. Kugblenu, Deputy Director of Nursing Services (DDNS) of the Public Health Division of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), said diseases resulting from pollution were estimated to cost Ghana between $226 million and $3000 million in 2015 due to lost productivity.She said the impact of air pollution also affects children even those unborn when they are exposed to unsafe levels of pollution.
Mr. Gordon Dakuu, explaining the UHI, said it is to equip the sector with the capacity and tools to demonstrate to the public and decision-makers the full range of health and climate benefits that can be achieved from implementing local emission reduction policies and strategies.