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The success of governments all over
the world is premised on its ability to provide critical infrastructure and
enabling environment that will promote business growth and and
industrialization. To a large extent, this obsession with industrial growth by
countries has recorded appreciable attainment. Consequently, this
industrialization has given to rise in the population of the urban areas. It
has been reported by United Nations Environment Programme (2006) that more than
350 cities of the world are having a population of over One Million people.
Urbanization and industrialization has given rise to challenges of
environmental pollution, thus a negation of the perceived advantages of
industrialization. Fast urbanization has brought about expanding urban air
contamination in significant urban areas, particularly in developing
countries.

 

It has been accounted for that urban
open air contamination is responsible for 49,000 unexpected deaths in Africa
annually and that 35% of disease incidence are caused by environmental
influence (Gopalan, 2003). It is projected that more than 1 billion individuals
are subjected to open air contamination every year. Urban air contamination is
connected up to 1 million unexpected deaths and 1 million pre-native passings
every year. Urban air contamination is evaluated to cost roughly 2% of GDP in
developed nations and 5% in developing countries. According
to United Nations Environmental programme, Over 90% of air pollution in urban
communities in developing nations is credited to vehicle emissions emanating
from high number of older vehicles combined with poor vehicle upkeep, deficient
framework and low fuel quality.

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In the present day of social order,
ease of access is a key component of well-being and prosperity. The capability
of individuals, families, entrepreneurs and organizations to exchange goods and
services, to be where events are being carried out and to intermingle with
people on a continuous basis is important not only to economic life but also to
the value of life. With rapid economic growth, social linkage and spread of
activities, transportation is now the pillar of accessibility systems. It is a decisive
factor of economic growth and social interactions in most countries.
Regrettably, the antagonistic consequences of transportation exhibit an
overbearing influence on the natural and human environment when compared to
telecommunications: an important mechanism for providing access. Transportation
entails the combustion of fossil fuels to produce energy transformed into
motion. Most developed countries have now largely contained some of these
emissions by improvement on vehicle parts and fuel content. However, such
cannot be said of developing countries. Transportation which is associated with
the burning of diesel and gasoline in automobiles, have high consideration as
air pollution source both at regional and global levels.

 

In Kumasi Metropolis, influx of old
vehicles has increased fuel consumption by the road transport sector in Kumasi
Metropolis to 502,148 tonnes in 2010 from 319,878 tonnes in 2005. The high fuel
consumption levels in the metropolis by the transport sector have brought to
bear maximum strain on air quality of the Metropolis. The combustion of fossil
fuels brings about vehicular emissions’ such as CO, CO2, NOX,
and SO2. The toxic chemical emissions from the exhaust of vehicles
have increased the levels of pollutant in the metropolis (Essumang et al.,
2006). The disease profile of Kumasi between 2005 and 2006 released by Metro
Health Department in 2011 revealed that respiratory infections is the second
most frequently reported cases in the health facilities in the Metropolis. This
could be attributed to the attendant effect of increased vehicular emissions in
the Metropolis. Unfortunately, there is little or no knowledge on the vehicular
air pollution levels in the City. Such information is necessary in controlling
air pollution and to provide baseline studies on the air pollution of the City.
An observational study was carried out to determine the ambient pollution load
of selected arterial roads of the Metropolis. 

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