Air quality in Yangon

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By Tin Win Lay (Kyimyindine)

As human beings lived in a space filled with air, they can only live with air. Ability to breathe fresh and clean air will give human beings a long and healthy life. Breathing foul and dirty airs would affect your health and well being.
As modern world develops, it became full of physical products and goods. More machines were produced while population increases, air pollution had came to the forefront as an important problem to be resolved. We were breathing unclean, dirty and foul air day after day.
Let’s not talk about modern cities of the world. We’ll just talk about air quality in Yangon compared to a country nearby.
As urban development increases in Yangon, its air quality decline said a researcher.

Among the list of air polluted city
Yangon had air quality measurement machines installed. According to the figures provided by those machines, Yangon had joined the list of worst air polluted city in the world.
Why was this? The city had a population of more than five million. Irresponsible littering including long lasting plastics produces polluted airs.
Of the more than half a million cars in Myanmar, close to 300,000 were plying the roads in Yangon everyday emitting Carbon Dioxides that pushes away the air that people breathes in.

Air pollution index
Air Quality Index (AIQ) was colour coded. From zero to 50 is green and this is considered as good quality. From 51 to 100 is yellow and considered as satisfactory. From 101 to 150 is a moderately polluted stage that will affect old persons, young children and people who are not in good health. From 151 to 200 is red and 201 to 300 is purple and the air quality was considered as moderately polluted to poor quality. 301 to 500 is reddish brown stage where air quality was very poor to severe.
According to a statement by Heinrich Boll Stiftung that had conducted studies of air quality in Yangon over three year, air pollution in Yangon reaches the level of Bangkok and Chiang Mai and sometime it was even worse.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) about seven million people in the world lost their lives due to air pollution related illnesses. In Myanmar itself more than 70,000 lives were lost due to air pollution.
How do we clean up Yangon? This was a question raised by Yangonites. They want to know whether Yangon Region government has included poor quality of air as one of its major problems that need to be tackled and were actively seeking out way to resolve and prevent further deterioration.
Private cars and taxis criss-cross all over Yangon YBS buses provide public transportation service.
Methods like permitting private car number plates ending with odd and even numbers on the roads of the cities on alternative days would immediately halves the numbers of cars on the road. This was practiced successfully in some car congested cities of the world.
Trees absorb Carbon Dioxide, a major pollutant in the air for human beings. So planting trees is a way to reduce air pollution. Myanmar was planting tens of thousands of trees during the raining season.
Recently Hluttaw representatives themselves participated in planting trees in a high school in Kyimyindine Township. But this was done every year and it was repeated in the same place where tree planting was conducted the previous year raising a question “What happened to the trees planted last year?” In Myanmar, trees were planted every year during the raining season. Only when such trees grow and flourish can there be sustainable reduction and protection of air pollution. Translated by Zaw Min (GNLM)

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