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The fifth season

Tamoor Ahmed Malik

How does it feel when you wake up in the morning with austere nuisance, a runny nose and itching throat while you slept when none of these symptoms exist.

 

Systems need to develop and implemented rather forcefully to reduce further devastation of our
environment.

Tamoor Ahmed Malik

For a job holder, it is quite hard to leave the city even for a short time period to avoid the spell of smog. We can’t leave the city and consequently can’t breathe in the city, a situation equally devastating and exasperating.
And to examine the misery of the inhabitants one can study the recent shocking statistics of Pakistan Air Quality Initiative community which says ‘Lahore’s air quality is near to worst with 2 days of good air quality has been measured during last year’.
The same agency further says that all cities in Pakistan exceed safe levels for air quality recommended by the National Environmental Quality Standards.

What bad air can cause?

Poor Air quality can cause serious health effects, worsening lungs, heart diseases, breathing problems, itching eyes and can lead to severe health-related complications.
The exposure to air pollution causes different effects on human health. Short-term effects: which include pneumonia, headaches, allergic reactions and nausea which also reduces individual’s health and efficiency. Long-term effects include Lung cancer, heart diseases chronic diseases like damage to kidneys, liver or brain.

Causes of air pollution?

The use of particular sources of energy mostly pollutes the air e.g. burning fossil fuels, gas or coal, fuels in cars, factories, engines, machines—anything which uses fuel and leaves particles in the atmosphere. Moreover, industrialization, massive scale production, squeezing green economies and not putting any attention to it until the climate change occurred.
The developed countries have adopted many counteractive measures to reduce the severity and effects of climate change and air pollution either via smog or soot.
This includes banning the burning of garbage, crops residue, shifting on more green energy solution, promoting electric transportation and recycling the already used material rather than dumping it into pits and far more.
These measures have helped reduce the amount of increasing pollution but they still have needed to do more to further reduce it as the scale of the pollution colossally increasing.

Alarming situation

Director General of the World Health Organization Dr Tedros in an article warned that air pollution is the ‘New Tobacco’ saying the simple act of breathing is killing seven million people every year.
Today, 90 percent people breathe polluted air. Top ten countries with the dirtiest air are mostly Asian. India ranks first with six out of its ten cities are the most with unclean air. Pakistan’s Karachi, Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Lahore also made their way into the list.

Lancet, a medical journal quotes ‘nearly 22 percent of annual deaths in Pakistan are caused by pollution, the majority of them due to air pollution’.
Subsequently, the World Bank, the Environmental Protection Agency in Pakistan all have warned in their reports to adopt measures for reducing pollution.
Pakistan has yet to come up with a viable solution to make its environment cleaner. Recently the top court of Pakistan has ordered the government to make preparations to curtail the worsening air situation it also asked government to provide details of their efforts.
The present government took initiatives to curb this menace as the Article 144 has been imposed and brick kilns, which are not in accordance to green list and have not installed filters over chimneys, are banned. The government also urged people to avoid burning garbage. There is a ban and fine on burning crop residue and medical waste.
The ‘Green and Clean Pakistan Campaign’ an initiative by Imran Khan led PTI government has also given hope. If successful, this initiative would turn out to be the world’s first ever of its kind.

Pakistan ranked fourth among countries planting trees. But all these efforts, compare to the pollution we are producing, are not adequate. There is a strong need to put more effort to save the environment, investment in this sector could be urged and appreciated.

Systems need to develop and implemented rather forcefully to reduce further devastation of our
environment. Children to be educated about the importance of climate change and much more measures needed to deal with this environment emergency in order to save people inhaling unhealthy air simply by breathing.

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