Ghana is experiencing severe air pollution amidst dusty conditions

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Harmattan
Harmattan

Ghana has been going through constant air pollution for days as the dry and dusty Harmattan weather sets in, sparking worries among the public about their daily life and health.

The Harmattan weather is caused by dry and dusty wind from the Sahara desert blowing over West Africa, normally occurring between December and February.

The Air Quality Index in Accra, the country’s capital, Thursday morning, was around 400, indicating the air pollution level is “hazardous.”

Godfred Abulbire, general secretary of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union, told Xinhua Wednesday that the extremely dusty condition associated with the Harmattan this year is “unusual.”

“The weather makes vehicle windshields dusty after a few hours of driving, and drivers have to constantly use water from their windshield washer reservoirs to wash away the dust to ensure clear visibility,” he said.

Edna Adwoa Ampofo, a 52-year-old trader in Tema, Ghana’s eastern port city, said her shop and wares get dusty lately due to the dusty condition.

“My entire shop, including the products, gets dusty all the time, and I must clean the products and the shop regularly to keep them tidy. The dust is too much and is even affecting sales,” said Ampofo.

She appealed to city authorities and the government to seek solutions to the dusty condition by commissioning research into the new phenomenon to avert any associated disease outbreak in the country.

“The dry condition has come with catarrh and patched lips, so I use lip gloss to protect my lips against further deterioration. The running nose is constant, and I can not tell when it will stop,” said Gloria Asimah, a 40-year-old woman in Kwabenya, a suburb of the capital.

Another woman, who did not want her name mentioned, said she had developed an irritating cough due to the weather.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Meteorological Agency has cautioned the public to wear protective nose gear to stay safe.

“Ghanaians are advised to avoid outdoor exercise, close windows to avoid dirty outdoor air, wear a mask outdoors, as well as run an air purifier,” it said in a statement.

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