Windhoek air quality under threat

Tujoromajo Kasuto

The City of Windhoek Council has warned that the air quality of Windhoek is under threat as the population and industrial activities grow.

To limit greenhouse emissions, the City of Windhoek is developing a Framework to govern and monitor air emissions within the city.

This comes as the world celebrates ‘’International Car Free Day’’ by raising awareness about air pollution and the effects it has on health and the environment in general. Windhoek’s first ever celebration was held today under the theme ‘’Reducing our Carbon footprint’’.

Yesterday, September 21st, was Zero Emission Day and both days aim to raise awareness about the

amount of fossil fuels used every day and how everyone can reduce their carbon footprint in the long run and residents are encouraged to embrace the use of alternative transportation modes, other than the use of their private vehicles.

As Chairperson of Council, Mayor of Windhoek, on the occasion Of Car-Free Day Sade Gawanas encouraged all motorists starting with the municipal employees to give up the use of their cars for the rest of the day and to cycle, walk, jog, and/or use public transport or carpools.

‘’Windhoek is fast becoming heavily motorized which is a great concern. In addition to raising awareness on air pollution, today’s event is an opportunity to promote non-motorized transportation as an alternative mode of transport using the newly constructed NMT lanes. This year’s event will be the launch pad for Council to celebrate and promote Car Free Day annually and I am excited to be part of this global movement to safeguard the long-term sustainability of our city and planet. So let us all pull together and have fun today, for a greater cause,’’ she said.

Zurilea Steenkamp, the city’s acting strategic executive of economic development and community

services delivering her opening remarks at the celebration of Windhoek’s First Car Free Day said the City of Windhoek already suffers from lack of water resources, which could be exacerbated by the impacts of climate change.

‘’We hope that your participation today allowed you to reflect on these issues I just mentioned and that the next time you switch on your ignition, consider whether the trip is really necessary or if you can take a walk! It is our hope that all participants will use this event as an opportunity to spread awareness on the dangers of air pollution and the importance of reducing emissions,’’ she said.

Steenkamp said human activities such as coal and diesel combustion, construction work, and even

natural events such as forest fires all have a negative impact on air quality.

‘’Air pollutants, particularly greenhouse gasses, contribute significantly to global warming and, as a result, climate change. Furthermore, air pollution can have a severe impact on health, contributing to respiratory diseases, cancer, and other potentially fatal conditions,’’ she said

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