Ghana to benchmark data on vehicle emissions and air pollution.
Ghana is on the path to assessing actual vehicles emissions on the road and air
pollution impacts, in Accra and other cities. The purpose of which is to build real world data for Ghana on vehicle emissions and air pollution, in what is the
first of its kind flagship Transport Emissions Monitoring and Mitigation Project
in the World.
For the last four weeks a team from Europe in collaboration with local company; IGES Ghana and the Government of Ghana under the Ministry of
Environment Science Technology and Innovation; MESTI, have been undertaking the 1st stages of a sustainable development project to monitor
vehicle emissions by the roadside in Accra, as part of a UNFCCC initiatives
aimed at climate change.
This initial study, with the support of MMT and the GPHA, is gathering sample
data on buses, taxis, cars and heavy goods vehicles with the aim of the development of standards appropriate to Ghana and avoid the problems associated with using Euro Standards emission controls which bear no relevance
to local conditions and real world drive cycles.
John Haggas; Director of IGES Limited – and leader of the team from the UK
in an interview said the project is a collaborative one with all stakeholders aimed
at achieving real, meaningful local data that will unravel a local problem with global dimensions that could be bigger than what we all thought. He added that
it will allow stakeholders to mobilise international funds to implement a National Transport Emissions Monitoring and Mitigation Projects for Ghana and subsequently other African Countries.
Air pollution, claims the World Health Organization (WHO) kills 7 million people annually worldwide. WHO have also recently announced their calculations that the cost of dirty air across the European continent, in terms of
damage to health and the environment, is estimated to cost a staggering 1.7 trillion euros, equivalent to 10 percent of Europe’s GDP.
In Ghana, the air quality problem is exacerbated by the high volumes of old and
poorly performing vehicular engines. The resultant small particles that comes from the exhaust of diesel and other vehicles – ‘Black Carbon’, and nitrogen dioxide; a gas that can inhibit breathing in vulnerable people, raises yet-to-be quantified health implications as well as having a negative impact on the Ghanaian economy in terms of health costs and environmental damage.
The Country Director of IGES – Ghana; Kwabena Asante Donkor said the project also aims to help improve the local transport industry with the evaluation of advanced emission reduction technologies suitable to the region in
a concerted effort to mitigate the damage caused by vehicle emissions and air pollution.