The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) launched an initiative to strengthen air quality management in Addis Ababa.
The Megacity Partnership brings together the Addis Ababa Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), and the Ethiopia Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change in collaboration with a UN Environment demonstration project on air quality management.
The initiative will raise awareness about the health and economic impacts of air pollution, assess the challenges facing air quality in Addis Ababa, and support local capacity to develop and implement an air quality management plan (AQMP) by 2020.
At the launch ceremony U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Troy Fitrell framed the importance of the project, saying “Clean air is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Quite literally, we can’t live without it.”
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that over 45,000 African children under the age of 5 die annually due to air pollution, one of the highest regional child mortality rates in the world.
In Ethiopia, the Global Burden of Disease estimates that air pollution is the number 2 risk factor for death and number 3 risk factor for disability.
Estimates of the economic cost to Africa of indoor and outdoor air pollution also approach 250 billion US dollars annually, according to a statement the US Embassy sent to FBC today.