By Eunice Hilda Ampomah/Grace Princess Tarwo, GNA
Accra, Nov. 1, GNA – Airmasks and Textiles Company Limited (ATCL) on Thursday donated anti-air pollution masks to members of the Jamestown Community to reduce the defects associated with inhaling poisonous air.
The donation was made during a health engagement session organised by the ATCL to sensitise members of the Community who engaged in activities that generate poisonous gas, including burning of electronic waste and car tyres, on the need to desist from those practices to ensure good health.
The Company used an Air Quality Monitor to record the air pollution of the Community, which exceeded 999 Micrograms Per Cubic Metre.
However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has put the healthiest air quality at 25 Micrograms Per Cubic Metre, which shows that the 999 micrograms recorded at the Community indicate a highly polluted area.
Mr Muntaka Chasant, the Chief Executive Officer of the ATCL, addressing the members, said research had shown that Jamestown was the most polluted area in the country.
He said members of the Community always inhaled smoke that emanated from exhaust pipes, smoking of fish, cooking with “dirty energies” in their homes using coal pots and firewood stoves, burning of animals with car tyres, burning of electronic waste and garbage.
Mr Chasant said the WHO reports indicate that air pollution causes over 28,000 deaths annually in Ghana, adding that Jamestown, Agbogbloshie, Makola, Old Fadama and Accra Tema Station were the most affected areas.
“My Company, therefore, took a step to reduce the rate at which people in this community are exposed to air pollution to reduce the health risks associated with it,” he said.
Mr Chasant, who is also a Social Entrepreneur, advised the residents, especially asthma and other respiratory tract infected patients, to wear the masks before engaging in any smoke emanating activities.
He encouraged the residents to engage in the fight against inhalation of polluted air by acting as agents to distribute the masks to the public to enhance their health.
He disclosed that smoke emanating from mosquito coils could also be dangerous to the human system since it circulates indoors and is often placed close to the users.
Mrs Vincentia Koranteng-Asante, a Representative from the Department of Community Development, Social Welfare, commended the Company for the gesture and said it was a step in the right direction as research done in the area on air pollution painted a disheartening picture.
“We have seen how the air pollution detecting machine read very high. Therefore, we need to think about the way forward because we cannot leave everything on the shoulders of the Government or policy makers.”
Mrs Koranteng-Asante noted that the Community was dominantly an urban poor one and a lot of people survived by low per capita income, therefore, they could not constantly afford the mask.
She, therefore, appealed to the Company to subsidise the cost for the Community to purchase and use, adding that buying and selling of the masks would also create jobs for the people.
She urged the men to work together to ensure a clean environment and bring the air pollution level to the barest minimum.