THE Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning on Tuesday started an outreach campaign to primary schools in the Karoo and Kannaland regions to raise awareness around the growing problem of air pollution.
Air pollution is not only a major contributor towards climate change but, according to the World Health Organisation, is also the second leading cause of non-communicable diseases, such as stroke, cancer and heart disease, which are on the rise worldwide.
The outreach forms part of the 5 June global World Environment Day programme. This year’s theme is #BeatAirPollution.
According to Anton Bredell, Minister for Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, the department is committed to ensuring a cleaner, safer environment for citizens of the province.
“In order to protect the air that we breathe, we have prioritised steps focused on improving air quality and waste management across the province. This is done by investing in specialised skills and equipment like air quality monitoring infrastructure.”
Joy Leaner, Director for Air Quality Management in the department, says one of the main causes of air pollution in small towns and communities is the uncontrolled burning of waste material that is often used for cooking and heating. “These types of fires have detrimental effects on human health.”
World Environment Day 2019 calls on citizens globally to consider how we can change our everyday lives to reduce the amount of air pollution we produce.
For more information on the province’s Air Quality Management visit www.westerncape. gov.za/eadp/about-us/ meet-chief-directorates/ environmental-quality/ air-quality-management