The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has urged the public to refrain from acts, especially open burning of waste hazardous materials that pollute air quality.
It said air was an essential resource for human well-being and vital for the survival of the entire ecosystem.
A statement issued to commemorate International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies and copied to the Ghana News Agency said the national target of achieving air quality required a concerted effort from both state and non-state actors.
The World Health Organization established the day to highlight the urgent need for stronger partnerships, more investment and shared responsibility to combat air pollution.
The statement said more than 28,000 people die in Ghana from exposure to air pollution every year, and this could increase if no concrete action was taken to tackle the issues.
It said lower respiratory tract infections, often caused by inhalation of polluted air ranked second to malaria among the top 10 diseases in 2018 by the Ghana Health Service.
The statement said 3,000 children under five years died from exposure to household air pollution in the year 2010.
It said the EPA had over the years implemented several initiatives and programmes to combat air pollution and its impacts.
The Agency it said had developed regulations to enforce the national Ghana Standard for Environment and Health Protection, requirements for ambient air quality and point source emissions, as well as the Ghana Standard for Health Protection and requirements for Motor Vehicle Emission.
The statement said the Agency had trained actors in the electronic waste management value chain on proper management and recycling practices to prevent burning in line with the relevant laws.
It said the Agency, in collaboration with stakeholders, has developed Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP) for the Greater Accra Region to identify and implement critical interventions to reduce air pollution and the associated health burden on the public.
‘We have established air quality monitoring networks in Accra, Tema and some regional capitals including Ho, Tamale, Kumasi and Sekondi-Takoradi,’ it said.
Factors such as population growth, rapid urbanization, and emissions from industrial and human activities are rapidly degrading air quality and contributing to climate change, particularly in urban areas.
Major contributors to air pollution from anthropogenic sources or human activities in Ghana include transport, industry, and human settlement.
Source: Ghana News Agency