, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 8 – There is need to embrace combustion efficiency if the country is to maintain its lead in the league of least toxic nations globally, an environmental chemist has said.
According to Dr Fredrick Oduor, a tutorial fellow at a Nairobi-based university, the recent survey by a renewable energy firm – The Eco Experts – which ranked Kenya among world’s least toxic nations could easy become history if adequate measures are not put in place to curb unnecessary carbon emissions.
“You see our Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) are just emitting huge amounts of carbon monoxide and other harmful gases,” he said adding that vehicles which do not meet emission standards should be banned from Kenyan roads.
In an analysis conducted by The eco-experts using data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and World Health Organization (WHO), Kenya topped the list of least polluted countries followed by Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Cameron.
Zambia, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo completed the top 10 chart dominated by African countries.
The analysis also brought to the fore the increase in air pollution which according to WHO went up by 8 percent between 2009 and 2016 with an estimated 7 million people dying every year due to air-pollution related illnesses.
“The situation has deteriorated. It is getting worse and we know that 80 percent of the human population living in cities are exposed to very high levels of air pollution and therefore exposed to diseases,” Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director of Public Health, Environment and Social Determinants of Health said in an interview with Newsweek.
Dr Oduor told Capital FM News on Wednesday that Kenya could account for a bigger share of fatalities in the future, if vehicle users are not compelled to comply with the law.
He strongly commended the eight-year maximum age rule for imported motor vehicles, saying such policies needed to be supported by law enforcement agencies to ensure vehicles do not contribute to the same problem the regulation seeks to mitigate.
According to Oduor, other measures including the use of renewable sources of energy could also go a long way in ensuring that the country maintained lower atmospheric toxicity.
“Let’s ensure have catalytic converters and perhaps explore various forms of clean energy where necessary,” he noted.
Among the countries identified as the most toxic are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates which complete the top five list of the most toxic nations.
Others like Oman, Turkmenistan, Libya Kazakhstan, and Trinidad and Tobago completed the top 10 list of countries where air is said to be most polluted.
In Africa, Libya, Egypt, South Africa and Algeria are the only countries in the continent which made it to the list of countries whose air is most polluted, joining China in Asia, Canada and the United States in North America.