Air pollution turns out to be among the major threats of African development, shows findings of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Annual human and economic cost of tainted air runs to 712,000 lost lives and £364bn.
According to Wikipedia air pollution is an alteration of air quality that can be characterized by measurements of chemical, biological or physical pollutants present in the air, with consequences that are harmful to human health , living beings , climate , or material goods .
These pollutants can be of natural or anthropogenic origin and concern the atmospheric air and / or the interior air of enclosed spaces (vehicles, houses, factories, offices).
In Africa, air pollution turns out to be more deadly than malnutrition and dirty water. According to The guardian, Africa’s air pollution is causing more premature deaths than unsafe water or childhood malnutrition, and could develop into a health and climate crisis reminiscent of those seen in China and India, a study by a global policy forum has found.
Henri-Bernard Solignac-Lecomte, head of the Europe, Middle East and Africa unit at the OECD development center, said the paper made a double case for action. “Air pollution in Africa increasingly hurts people and hinders economic development.
Reducing it requires urgent action by governments to change the unsustainable course of urbanization. Indeed, Africa urbanizes at a very fast pace: today’s 472 million urban dwellers will be around a billion in 2050. Today’s investment choices will have decade-long impacts on urban infrastructure and the quality of life of urbanites.
As for outdoor pollution, African economies would be well advised to learn from the experience of industrialized countries, for example by developing mass public transportation systems like Rabat or Addis-Ababa are doing with their tramways.”