Home / Health / Air Pollution: LASG To Establish Six Air Quality Monitoring Stations
Onitsha, NigeriaA few hours’ drive and at least two dozen security checkpoints from Port Harcourt, lies the city of Onitsha , on the eastern bank of the River Niger. In 2016, the World Health Organization said Onitsha was the world’s most-polluted city. Its PM10 levels were recorded at 594 μg/m3.Scattered throughout the city are “burning sites,” whose plumes of thick black smoke contribute to a permanent haze above the rooftops. At nine o’clock this particular morning on the edge of one such site, which also serves as an open-air abattoir, a small boy stood next to his tricycle watching as a man pushed wheelbarrow loaded with the heads of freshly slaughtered cattle toward the fire.The air was acrid and the ground was littered with huge piles of plastic bottles and tires. On top of mounds of copper wires, animal bones and tires, fires burned. Taking a knife, one man sliced a tire and threw large shreds onto the flames. He then swiftly turned and slit the throat of a goat. Men led goats and cows up to small mound to the nearest fire, where they were slaughtered in quick succession with a knife slash to the throat. The carcasses then were burned to make the skins easier to remove. A few meters from fires, the portable air quality monitor registered PM2.5 at 999 μg/m3— the maximum reading possible on the monitor.

Air Pollution: LASG To Establish Six Air Quality Monitoring Stations

The Lagos State Government says it will establish six Air Quality Monitoring Stations across the state, so as to curb air pollution.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Abiodun Bamgboye, made this known on Friday, during the Celebration of the 2019 World Environment Day.

Bamgboye said that the establishment of the stations was with the support of the World Bank Pollution Management and Environmental Health (PMEH) programme.

He said that the commitment of the Lagos State Government to advocacy, monitoring and protection of the environment was undeniable.

According to him, the government will continue to collaborate with local and international governments  and agencies for the development of policies and programmes aimed at improving ambient air quality in the state.

“Very notable amongst these collaborations is the World Bank Pollution Management and Environmental Health (PMEH) programme, whose first component is the establishment of an Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network for Lagos State,” he said in a statement.

He said that the 2019 World Environment Day, with the theme ‘Air pollution – A matter of grave Concern’, was dedicated to spreading awareness about the dangers of air pollution.

The Permanent Secretary said that it was time to improve ambient quality air in the state through persistent advocacy.

He said that the World Environment Day celebration offered the opportunity to rededicate national efforts to the sustainable development of the environment.

According to him, a better environment can be attainable if it becomes a way of life.

“We must form new habits and do whatever is necessary to make our air fresh and our water clean,” Bamgboye said.

As part of the celebration of the 2019 World Environment Day, the Lagos State Government also held the second edition of the ”Lagos Green Award”.

He said that the award was initiated to recognise and honour individuals, groups and organisations that contributed to the sustainable development of the environment.

The Permanent Secretary said that the award, which was in different categories, was a deliberate attempt to stimulate excellence in the environment sector.

He said that winners in different categories were selected through nomination by members of the public of deserving individuals, groups and organisations that had impacted directly on environmental resilience in Lagos State.

The various categories of the award include: Waste prevention and Innovation, won by Nampark Nigeria Ltd. and Zero waste to Landfill, won by Unilever Plc.

The Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) category of the award was won by Mushin to the World, while the Innovation and sustainable solutions category was won by Ecobank Plc.

CODAS Environmental Enterprise received the award for Best Environmental Practice, while the Special Award on Environmental Leadership was won by Dr Muiz Banire.

About Ademola Aderele

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