The Chief Executive Officer of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, has announced plans to install an air quality monitoring sensor in Accra to provide real time information on the quality of air in and around the city to inform decision making.
He noted that, air pollution was a silent killer with no boundaries, known to kill about nine million people annually worldwide adding that, in Accra 2000 air pollution deaths are recorded annually.
“The disease burden indicates an upward trend in reported cases of lung disease, strokes, asthma, cancers and many others across our city as is the case in other cities in the developing world,” he said in a statement issued to mark World Environment Day celebration in Accra.
The day was celebrated on the theme: “Beat Air Pollution”
World Environment Day is an annual event by the United Nations to encourage awareness and action for the protection of the environment.
Mr Sowah noted that as part of efforts to address the challenges associated with air pollution in the city, the Assembly had distributed tree seedlings to basic schools within the metropolis, instituted waste segregation programme in basic schools to promote recycling, distributed waste bins to Senior High Schools (SHS) and communities such as Jamestown and Mamprobi to discourage waste burning.
He said the Assembly in addition, is promoting energy efficiency in public buildings and senior high schools and had installed a five kilowatts (kw) solar plant for the Accra Girls SHS.
“I have signed the city onto the #Cities4Forests initiative and in the next couple of weeks; the city will embark on a tree planting exercise in basic schools across the metropolis.
He said he had also committed the city to a 50 per cent reduction of Waste to landfill by 2025 hence the partnership with private sector to construct more recycling plants in the city to complement the recently constructed waste recovery, recycling and compost plant along the mortuary road.
The Second Lady and an Ambassador for the Clean Cooking Alliance, Mrs Samira Bawumia, said the local theme ” Clean Air, our Lifeline and shared responsibility” summarized Ghana’s stance on air pollution.
She said, “the use of clean, safe and efficient cookstoves can reduce exposure to harmful smoke and provide many environmental and climate benefits, adding that, access to clean cooking solutions improves health, reduces poverty, protects the environment, enhance livelihoods, improves gender equity and empowers women all in one go.”
The Deputy Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and MP for Asokwa in the Ashanti Region, Mrs Patricia Appiagyei, pointed out that government is working assiduously to create sustainable business models in the management of the environment and waste, by embracing the concept of circular economy.
She said her Ministry is working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide effective enforcement of environmental laws and guidelines, such as the Vehicular Emission Standards, and to ban vehicles which did not meet emission and efficiency standards.
She encouraged all and sundry to take concrete steps towards making the planet greener and cleaner to eradicate poverty.
“Plant a tree, clean up your local gutter, avoid emissions, do not burn in the open and hold corporations responsible for their environmental practices,” she said.
The day was also marked with the planting of trees along the streets within the ministries enclave in Accra.