Nairobi, 6 August 2019 – Responding to the choking city documentary aired by Citizen TV, revealing that most parts of Nairobi city are experiencing poor air quality due to the increased number of dumpsites and motor vehicles, Greenpeace Africa’s Campaigner Amos Wemanya has said:
“This documentary exposes the appalling levels of inequality in Kenya where people living in low income areas are left to bear the brunt of Kenya’s lack of proper planning – subjecting them to high levels of air pollution leading to respiratory diseases and premature deaths.
“Air pollution remains a leading risk factor for premature deaths in Kenya. According to World Health Organisation reports, more than 18,000 premature deaths in Kenya annually are linked to air pollution.
“Solid waste management strategies need to emphasize on the reduction at the source. The recycling strategy is not working. The environment is choking with waste that contributes to the current air pollution situation in Nairobi. Businesses need to take responsibility and reduce waste at the source by eliminating materials such as the production of single-use plastics.
“Traffic congestion and old cars emitting carbon monoxide on the roads is another major contributor to Kenya’s air pollution. The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) need to develop strict measures to eliminate traffic congestion and old cars. A number of vehicles in Kenya are not road worthy; these cars do not meet emission standards and should not be allowed on the roads.
Having an efficient and effective public transport system will help tackle air pollution problems. A holistic infrastructural planning that enables adoption and implementation of innovative policies for sustainable cities and a mechanism for proper audits will reduce transport congestion and emissions in Kenya.
Greenpeace Africa is calling on NEMA to take urgent actions to mitigate air pollution in Nairobi and its environs. NEMA needs to prioritise air quality assessments, the provision of air quality alerts and enforcement of air quality regulations. Kenyans deserve clean air.
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