Some 17,000 Ghanaians die from household fuel air pollution

Gina McCarthy
Gina McCarthy

Some Ghanaians who have no access to clean household fuels are dying every year, from air pollution from household fuels and there are 17,000 of them. 3000, among those impacted are children, the US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Gina McCarthy made this known in Accra, Monday October 10, 2016.

Available information also says an estimated 600,000 Africans die every year from air pollution from household cooking fuels – half of them children.

To address this situation, Ms McCarthy noted that the US government agency is working with Ghana’s Ministry of the Environment to address the challenges of air and water pollution in Ghana, as well as expand the existing relations between the two countries in addressing these issues.

She said the US understands that environmental challenges such as water, air pollution and climate change respect no borders. “These are challenges that we all have to face,” she said, and that’s why they are here to work together with the Ghanaian authorities.

Ms. McCarthy pointed out the US EPA has been working with Ghana for sometime now, and they have been monitoring air quality.

She indicated that some data on air pollution has been collected in Ghana in 10 years, and the US is working with the Ministry in sharing expertise to analyse the data.

She noted that they will take the data that has been gathered, and evaluate it to see what the data says and the US will bring expertise to identify the most cost effective solutions to air pollution.

Mr. Mahama Ayariga, the Minister of Environment spoke about how the Ministry is working with all the respective agencies to address the environmental challenges facing Ghana.

In response to questions on air pollution from household fuel, Mr. Ayariga noted that as part of the efforts to address the challenge, the government is investing in rural electrification project.

Ms. McCarthy also said the US government and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) are working with the Ghanaian authorities to provide some cookstoves for Ghanaians in response to the challenges of air pollution from household fuels.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
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