Winneba (C/R), July 16, GNA - Dr Berth Awuku, Director of the University of Education Winneba, (UEW) Health Services, has called on the public to be mindful of the dangers associated with air pollution and desist from activities that will endanger their lives.
She said air pollution is a public health risk that affects everyone on the planet and its prevention requires a collective effort.
Dr Awuku said this at a durbar organized by the Centre for School and Community Science and Technology Studies (SACOST) of UEW, to commemorate UN-World Environment Day.
The event was held under the national theme: “Clean Air: Our Lifeline and Shared Responsibility”.
The sub-regional theme was: “Air Pollution: Greening the Blue”.
Dr Awuku said the continuous indiscriminate burning of domestic waste including plastic containers, empty cans, bottles, dry cell, vehicle tyres pollute the air and when inhaled can cause public health concerns like lung diseases.
“Let us as a people change our attitude towards the environment and we shall live longer to help make this planet a better place to live”, she said.
Professor Kolawole Raheem, Head of SACOST at the Institute for Educational Research and Innovation Studies (IERIS), said SACOST in collaboration with other stakeholders is planning year –round activities for school environmental clubs.
He called on the Effutu Municipal Assembly to increase its support in the fight against bad environmental practices and air pollution challenges.
Dr Louis Doe Atsiatorme, Chief Executive of Dal Environmental Consult, said UNEP estimates that 92 percent of people in the world do not breathe clean air.
He said air pollution costs the global economy $5 trillion every year and it is expected to reduce staple crop yields by 26 percent by 2020, and the implication is that there will not be enough food.
“It has been predicted that by 2050 about 70 out 100 people in the world will live in cities creating environmental and health challenges; and making cities sustainable therefore becomes imperative”.
He said the target of SDGs 11 was making cities and human settlement inclusively safe, resilient and sustainable, but the level of air pollution everywhere is an issue of concern adding that urban areas are responsible for 70 percent of the Green House Gas emissions which is the source of climate change.
He said “we can together beat air pollution through our collective responsibilities with the various assemblies, the public must be made aware of the dangers involved in air pollution, litter bins must be provided in all public buildings and recreational areas for proper disposal of waste”.
Professor Kodjo Donkor Taale, Head, integrated science Department of UEW, who chaired the programme, called on all to join the fight in dealing with sanitation challenges adding, “together we can make it, yes together let us change our attitude to make the environment friendly”.