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LASEPA Raises Alarm On Low Air Quality In Lagos

By Femi Akinola

Lagos becomes the world’s largest city in 2100 and major cources of pollution has increased as industry grows and transportation needs soars.

In a recent World Bank study on the Cost of Air Pollution in Lagos, it was disclosed that illness and premature deaths are caused by ambient air pollution and that children under five years were the most affected while the adults suffered from heart diseases, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The study pointed at ambient air pollution in the city on health, analyzed main pollution sources, and recommend options to improve Lagos’ air quality.

According to the report of the study, ambient air pollution is caused by pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, silfur oxides, ozone, air toxics, and fine particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5)

These, according to experts, are dangerous to people’s health. For example, it was learnt that they can pass lung barriers and enter the blood stream, contributing to mortality and morbidity.

The study’s report disclosed further that Lagos recorded high level of air pollution in the same range as other polluted megacities such as Beijing in China, Cairo in North West Africa and Mumbai in India.

According to the report of the study on pollution in Lagos, the top three sources of PM 2.5 in the city are road transportation, industrial emissions and different types of power generators.

It highlighted the fact that the number of vehicles on Lagos roads increses on daily basis.

Naturenews can report that the average Lagos commute takes minimum of four hours daily, depending on which area is the commuter going and where he or she lived.

Additionally, over 200 vehicles clog each kilometre of road in the city and most of these vehicles are over 15 years old, using old emission technologies and fuel with high sulfur levels.

Emissions from industrial areas in the city is the second source of PM2.5 in the city. The World Bank study showed that industrial and commercial zones like Apapa, Ikeja, Ikorodu, Mushin, Yaba, Ijora, Abule-Egba, etc, where chemicals, refinery, landfill site, steel industry and markets are concentrated have high levels of pollution, particularly at Odogunyan area of Ikorodu, where iron smelting factories were located.

Inadequate waste infrastructure and human and port activities from the two main ports in the city, Apapa and Roro ports, are part of causes of air pollution in Lagos.

In addition, with inadequate waste mannagement infrastructure and waste management system, residents in some parts of the state now resorted to open burning of waste, and illegal dumping, causing emissions of toxic pollutants into the atmosphere.

In the mean time, the Managing Director of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Dr. Babatunde Ajayi, has said the current Lagos Air Quality Index release on Monday as shown in the chart has improved for the better but not optimal.

He, however, said that his agency is working tirelessly to enhance the state’s air quality.


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