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Environmentalists intensify efforts to minimise air pollution

Environmentalists have called for concerted efforts to minimise air emissions for quality lives, even as studies cited lorries and motorcycles as the major pollutants in the air in Nakuru City.

The environmentalists have noted that the quality of the air contributes a great deal to city residents’ health and well-being, calling for public awareness to increase adoption of best environmental practices, for quality air and blue skies.

The study conducted in Nakuru County between 2018 and 2022 revealed that lorries were the highest contributor to air pollution in the county at 22 per cent, with 82 per cent of its residents willing to learn how best to reduce emissions into the air.

Speaking during celebrations to mark the fourth International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies in Nakuru, Otieno Opiyo, a research fellow with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), noted that air quality determined the residents’ health and well-being, noting the need to increase green spaces to lower stress levels.

Opiyo noted that the findings of the study were meant to create awareness amongst various stakeholders in a bid to help them use data on air quality in decision-making while seeking to link air quality to climate change action plans.

Nakuru County’s Director for Environment, Grace Karanja, noted that the county was working on a framework that will increase open green spaces for carbon sinking while reducing motorists entering the city.

“We are encouraging non-motorised and green energy transport as an initiative meant to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases for a cleaner and more energy-efficient city,” noted Ms. Karanja.

Nakuru Business Association Chair Wilson Gitu noted the deteriorating quality of the air as a result of rapid urbanisation, calling for more investment in cleaner technologies in manufacturing.

“Most investors in Nakuru have invested heavily in solarization as an alternative source of power away from the traditional generators, with proposals underway for the use of waste in combustion for numerous heaters being employed by manufacturers,” noted Gitu.

Nakuru County Director for Meteorological Services, Julius Kiama, regretted that the pollution was high, with areas of Njoro, Molo, Rongai, and Subukia also at high risk as the county served as a major transport corridor.

“We are calling on everybody to join hands in ensuring clean air as pollution has been cited as a high contributor to climate change as well as respiratory and dermatological conditions,” added Kiama.

By Anne Sabuni

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