Ghana will celebrate the World Environment Day, a United Nations Environment-led global event, on Friday, June 6, instead of Thursday, June 5.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Environment Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) said the change in the date of the celebration is a result of its coinciding with the Eid-ul Fitr.
It said the global theme for this year’s event is: “Air Pollution,” which is a global emergency affecting everyone.
The statement said seven million people worldwide die prematurely each year from air pollution.
It said that the day is used to draw the attention of governments, industry, communities, and individuals to improve air quality in cities and regions across the world by putting in place solutions across a wide range of sectors.
In Ghana, the statement said the day would be observed under the theme “Clean Air; Our Lifeline and Shared Responsibility.”
It said statistics indicated that lower respiration infection was 2nd to Malaria and caused 3000 deaths in children under 5 years among the 10 Burden of diseases in Ghana.
“While 2,800 preventable lives were lost in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) in 2015 due to the effects of air pollution and related diseases such as respiratory, cardiovascular, lungs and pulmonary diseases, aggravation of asthma,” it said.
The statement noted that the Environmental Protection Agency under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation was embarking on a week-long outreach programmes in GAMA to sensitise identified groups; fish processors, Kenkey Sellers, scrap dealers and the Ghana Private Road Transport Union on the harmful effects of open burning, vehicular emissions and air pollution in general as part of activities to mark this year’s celebration.
It said the outreach sought to introduce the groups to some air quality technologies such as the Improve Cooking Stoves, demonstrations on air quality measurements and its implication to human health and environment.
At the WED event, it said Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister of MEST would deliver a key note address and launch the Ghana Air Quality Standards at a symposium being organised at the AMA auditorium on 6th June, 2019 to climax this year’s event.