IQAir’s AirVisual, a real-time air quality information platform, has sounded the alarm that Ghana’s air quality is 49.6 times higher than the WHO annual air quality guideline value.
IQAir’s AirVisual attributes this to the high concentration of PM2.5 in Accra’s atmosphere.
It says the current PM2.5 concentration in Greater Accra is 11 times above the recommended limit given by the WHO 24-hour air quality guidelines value.
It is believed the high concentration of PM2.5 in the air has been compounded by the resurgence of the Harmattan as a result of regional dust storms pushing into Southern Ghana.
“Due to the highly damaging effects of pollution exposure on vulnerable members of society, i.e. young children and the elderly, pregnant women, those with heightened sensitivity towards pollution, as well as those with pre-existing illnesses or compromised immune system, the population is advised to wear a mask outdoors, run an air purifier, close windows to avoid dirty outdoor air and avoid outdoor exercise.”
PM2.5 refers to particles found in the air, including dust, soot, dirt, smoke, and liquid droplets with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less.
These particles are so small they can get deep into the lungs and into the bloodstream and cause havoc to one’s organs.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Meteorological Agency has predicted an intensification of dry and dusty weather conditions during the week.
It attributed the phenomenon to dust lifted around Chad, Sudan, and Niger. This dust was transported into the country by strong winds at lower levels of the atmosphere.
“These conditions are expected to persist at varying intensities over the next few days. However, it is expected that there will be a relaxation in the intensity during the week and consequently.”