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EPA Warns Of Dusty Weather Until March Ending

Dr. Henry Kwabena Kokofu, the executive director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), issued a warning Wednesday about the entry of Saharan dust into the nation and urged people with underlying health concerns to limit outdoor activity, particularly during this month.

He cited those with underlying medical issues as well as the elderly, children, pregnant women, asthmatics and people with associated allergies as being at greater risk.

He claimed that satellite photographs from the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMET) showed that a significant amount of dust had been created in the region that served as its source and was being brought into the nation.

According to Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMET) satellite images, a lot of dust has been raised in the dust source region (Sahara regions), and this dust is being transported into the country by low level strong winds as a result of the very dry and dusty weather being experienced over the northern, transition zones, and part of the south, he said.

At a press conference yesterday in Accra to educate the public about the problem and the safety precautions required up until the harmattan season was ended, Mr. Kokofu announced this.

He claimed that it was a natural occurrence that took place in the harmattan seasons between February 17 and February 19, when there was a lot of dust in the air nationwide.

“Except for February 15 and 16, when it increased to unhealthy levels for sensitive groups, and then unhealthy to very unhealthy between February 17 and 19,” he noted, “the air quality index record­ed at the EPA’s Monitoring Site located at the University of Ghana between February 1 and 19 of 2023 was largely moderate.

According to him, vulnerable populations including those who have asthma or lung disease, elderly individuals, children, and pregnant women are thought to be more at risk when there are high particle levels since they can irritate their eyes, nose, and throat.

He asked the general population to limit outside activities, including physical activity, or to use a nasal mask and eye protection goggles whenever they were outside.

To decrease air pollution and the associated deaths in the nation, Mr. Kokofu recommended the populace to stop using firewood for cooking, smoking in public, and burning solid waste in open piles.

He advised them to grow more trees rather than clear them from their surroundings because they were the only source of natural oxygen.

“The Agency will continue to work with pertinent institutions and stakeholders to monitor the situation for updates on our website and social media accounts,” he said.

Mary Eyram Ashinyo, the deputy director of the institutional care division (quality assurance) of the Ghana Health Service, stated over the weekend that the country’s air quality has declined, indicating that Ghanaians’ health was in danger.



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