Air pollution in Ghana
28,000 Ghanaians die prematurely every year as a result of air pollution, according to the World Health Organization (2020). Air pollution is the second highest health risk factor for death and disability, after malnutrition. Young children and adults over 50 are most at risk of disease and premature death.
Poor air quality in Ghana is mainly caused by cooking using wood and charcoal, road transport, slash-and-burn methods of farming, open waste burning, energy generation, accidental fires and industry. While deaths from household air pollution have decreased since 1997, deaths from outdoor air pollution have increased.
Ghana is one of only seven African countries with real-time air pollution monitors, but the availability and accessibility of air quality data is limited. The national government does not have a nationwide air quality policy or targets. However, there are sector-specific policies and guidelines that address air pollution, as well as clean air initiatives in Accra.
Ghana is rapidly urbanising, like much of Africa. There is an opportunity to support policymakers and businesses to implement policies and solutions to tackle the root causes of air pollution now.
Tackling Ghana’s air pollution crisis
We officially expanded to Ghana in 2022 to catalyse the clean air movement across the country and region. Our grant making will build on our work in African cities, through our partnership with C40.
A locally-led and sustainable approach will help us to accelerate systemic change in a continent bearing the brunt of the climate crisis. We are engaging with city and national leaders, community groups and academic institutions to better understand the prevalence and impact of air pollution, and advocate for solutions. The leaders of 15 municipal assemblies in Accra have already pledged to work with us to improve air quality in their areas.
Addressing air pollution presents a real opportunity to tackle the unique impacts of the climate crisis in Africa, and to support an informed path to sustainable development for the continent.”Desmond Appiah, Head of Ghana at Clean Air Fund
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