Halima Imam from Nigeria

Children are at very high risk of diseases caused by air pollution because their bodies are still developing and their system is not yet strong enough to protect them from the adverse effect of pollution. Children are exposed to air pollution on two fronts, those in urban areas are exposed to polluted air from vehicles, plants, factories etc. And the ones in rural and suburban areas have to breathe in smoke from burning bushes to that which comes from their mother’s kitchen which is characterized by cooking with firewood. Smug and smoke filled skies have created such inconvenience in breathing for people in cities and regions that are affected by it.

There have been numerous reports about what a disaster air pollution poses for us all and most importantly, how many children will also lose their lives due to the fact that they have been denied clear blue skies and healthy air due to the activities of adults. Most developing cities in Africa chokes under clouds of pollution, it pulls down commerce and drags up the cost of healthcare. Electricity supply in most parts of Nigeria is epileptic and the people have come up with a saying “electricity is just here to support the generators”, a complete opposite of why generators have been created. Gas emitted from generators are very dangerous as they are greenhouse gases but almost every household in the country use generators on a daily basis.

Clean air is a fundamental human right and every child deserves to view the blue skies without any obstruction of their view from snug or smoke covering the atmosphere. Climate friendly policies by policy makers and signed into law by the government will go a long way in purifying the air we breathe. Governments especially in parts of Africa and most parts of Asia also has to also put in place air quality measures and cleaning mechanisms in place. Tree planting automatically gets the greenhouse gases from the atmosphere as they act as carbon sinks. Taking public transport, carpooling, using bicycles and taking walks will certainly reduce our carbon footprints.

We must rethink our sources of energy, we are long overdue in our transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy like solar, wind and geothermal. An available future is a sustainable one but we will even have the right to dream of a future once we have eco-friendly transportation, start erecting more green buildings and help poor societies get clean energy like briquettes and biochar for cooking. People must be encouraged to have indoor plants to help mitigate indoor pollution and plant more trees around their houses and living spaces. A society is evaluated based on how they treat their young and if we allow our children to keep dying from air pollution that they haven’t caused, then that tells just what kind of a person we are.

Via letmebreathe.in

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