Sri Lanka registers best air quality in South Asia | Daily News

Sri Lanka registers best air quality in South Asia

Nearly 220 million children of South Asia breathe toxic air in the most polluted regions in the world including India, deepening worries over health of minors in several parts of the country, reported India’s Hindustan Times citing a report by UNICEF released in the third quarter of last year.

Sri Lanka is excluded from this list. Experts attribute Sri Lanka’s low air pollution to the stringent vehicle emission testing program the island nation initiated in 2008 resulting in a higher quality of air compared to its neighbours.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), named India, China, Pakistan and Bangladesh as having cities where the air is so toxic, it kills. A 2015 study by the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, found that in 2012 air pollution accounted for 3.3 million deaths worldwide. Out of these, 2.2 million were in South Asia.

‘Undoubtedly, vehicle emissions are a major cause of air pollution and unlike factories and other industrial sites, vehicles emit pollutants in and around densely populated human habitations directly impacting those who live there”, CleanCo Operations Head Surendra Perera, the company operating ‘DriveGreen’centres said.

“In its 2014 environment performance index, Yale University ranked Sri Lanka highest in South Asia occupying 69th place in the world. 

 Even Bhutan, up in the green Himalayan Mountains came in 34 places lower in 103 rd place”, DriveGreen Technical Manager Thilak Dilshan Epa said.

A first-of-its-kind analysis based on satellite imagery, UNICEF’s ‘Clear the Air for Children’ report published end October 2016 stated that “Around 300 million children currently live in areas where the air is toxic - exceeding international limits by at least six times”.

In total, around 2 billion children live in areas that exceed the World Health Organisation’s annual limit, the report said.According to UNICEF, the factors responsible for outdoor air pollution include vehicle emissions, heavy use of fossil fuels, dust and burning of waste. 

Add new comment