#ClimateWednesday: Dealing With Air Pollution in Nigeria by Justina Ezurike
The poisoning of the environment by chemical, physical, or biological factors that affect the features of the atmosphere is known as air pollution. Nigerian air pollution comes from a variety of sources, including:
Gas flaring, artisanal refinery activities, generators, road haulage, dump sites (unpleasant odour), household trash burning Cooking with wood and kerosine, for example
According to IQAir, Port Harcourt is the most polluted city in Nigeria, the second most polluted in Africa, and the 86th most polluted in the world. Having an average PM2.5 level of 51.6m/m3, which is more than 10 times the WHO’s recommended values.
Air pollution levels in Port Harcourt are rising in tandem with the growth of artisanal refineries.
Particulate matter pollution is a major source of worry in the country because of the negative impact it has on the health of individuals who are exposed to it on a regular basis. PM2.5 may enter the lungs and even blood vessels, unlike PM10, which is contained in the upper respiratory tract.
The most serious consequences of air pollution are health-related. Premature DEATH, worse asthma in children, heart disease and even stroke, acute bronchitis, eye irritation, and so on are all possible effects of pollution.
The health implication of air pollution has a ripple effect. One of which is;
· The reduction in the productivity of the people due to ill health.
· Migration out of the city to escape the pollution, especially during the dry season.
Also, the gas being flared by the nation are supposed to be a source of wealth for the nation.
ROLE OF GOVERNMENT
· Research: The government should begin to fund research. There should be research grants made available specifically for pollution studies. This will give the true picture of the levels of pollutants in the atmosphere.
· Policy review: This can be done to address the prevailing condition in the country, take into consideration the overlap in the duties of the various agencies, and establish more severe penalties for polluting the environment. Data gotten will be reference points during policy review.
· Monitoring and enforcement
ROLE OF CSOs
· Research: This will not only make available relevant data to drive the conversations, innovations can also come up.
· Climate education
· Push for policy review
· Hold government accountable
Written by Peace Nwachukwu, Host ClimeteWednesday