Nairobi, KENYA: The United Nations UN has advised the Kenyan government to step up its efforts in reversing effects of pollution as environmental degradation has been found to have fatal effects.
The United Nations Environment Programme UNEP report dubbed Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-6): Regional Assessments, has revealed that land degradation, air pollution, and the provision of sanitation and safe drinking water are among the main problems of the continent.
“Indoor pollution is a problem in African nations and Kenyan populations as well. This is because of using biomass energy sources like firewood which are a major cause of respiratory infections.” Said Clever Mafuta, Programme Leader, Transboundary Waters.
He added that Indoor air pollution is responsible for 600,000 premature deaths every year in Africa as many depend on biomass.
“The continent’s reliance on the use of biomass for cooking, lighting and heating means that 90 per cent of the region’s population is exposed to this health threat,” added Mafuta.
The Executive Director of UNEP’, Achim Steiner explained that if current trends continue and the world fails to enact solutions that improve current patterns of production and consumption, then the state of the world’s environment will continue to decline.
He added It is essential that we understand the pace of environmental change that is upon us and that we start to work with nature instead of against it to tackle the array of environmental threats facing the world.
Frank Turvatunga UNEP Regional Co-ordinator Africa has suggested that modern day jikos can be used to prevent emission of harmful gases as they break down pollutants.
“Countries with many rivers can use the small rivers to generate sustainable power for small populations in a region. This can discourage use of firewood for cooking,” he added.
The report has been released at a time when Kenya is preparing to host environmental conservationists from the world over for the United Nations Environment Assembly UNEA that will take place from May 23rd-May 27th.