Air pollution kills seven million people globally each year-NEMA official

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By BONIFACE MULU

The air pollution is a silent killer, an environment officer with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Kitui County Office Naftaly Osoro said.

“It is estimated to have killed seven million people globally each year and this is as a result of the indoor and outdoor pollution,” the environmentalist added.

Osoro added that the air pollution impact results to the respiratory effects, heart attack, lung cancer and stroke problems. The expert was speaking to hundreds of people during this year’s World Environment Day celebrations held at the Kitui Teachers Training College where the Kitui County Environment and Natural Resources Ministry Chief Officer, Engineer Joseph Kimanga was the chief guest at the function.

The CO was representing the County Environment and Natural Resources Minister John Muneeni Makau at the occasion. Osoro was representing the NEMA Kitui County Director Godffrey Wafula at the function. The function had been organised by the Kitui County Environment and Natural Resources Ministry in partnership with the Kenya Forest Service, the NEMA and the Kenya Forestry Research Institute. “Clean air, our responsibility. Air pollution, a silent killer” was the theme of this year’s event.

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In Kenya, the Kenya Railway Training Institute in Nairobi was the country’s national venue for the event. And globally, the Hanghzou City in China was the event’s global venue. “In Kitui County, the use of the smoky and polluted stoves and fuels inside our homes for cooking and heating has some detrimental effects on women, children and the elderly,” Osoro said.

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So we need to devise clean cooking mechanisms, he said. The expert added that there is also impact in the Kitui County’s major towns from vehicular emissions.

“As the NEMA, we have developed the air quality regulations of 2014 and therefore I challenge the county government to come out with standards and policies that would guide the reduction of the air pollution impacts,” Osoro said.

The aspects such as the open burning of the waste require to be stopped in all our major towns in the county, the official added. “On the issue of the plastic paperbag usage ban in Kenya by the government, it is essential that all people adhere to the country’s gazette notice that banned their usage in the country,” the NEMA official said.

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Osoro said that the World Environment Day is marked as a mode of awareness creation on aspects that affect all the environment and possible solutions towards the negative impact to the environment.

Engineer Kimanga also addressed the occasion after reading the Minister Makau’s speech. The CO had been accompanied by some officials from his office including the County Environment Director Benjamin Musili Mukulo who also addressed the function among others.

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