Onitsha is the most Polluted City in the World

By Tijana Radeska
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Onitsha is the most Polluted City in the World

Tijana Radeska
 
Onitsha Nigeria
Onitsha Nigeria
 
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Sometimes we get all up in arms about the pollution in our town or city, we get anxious because of our children being out in it, and we want things to change. Often things look like they’re going to change or they have changed, and we carry on hoping there’s a future for all of us that has the basics of human needs, fresh air.

That’s not the case for everyone though, some places in our world are struggling with this basic need. According to data from the World Health Organization, the most polluted city in the world is Onitsha in Nigeria.

The measurements say that during the last year, the average pollution in a cubical meter was between 10 and 2,5 micrometers, with 594 micrograms of particle harmful to human life.

 

And things are only getting worse for them; life gets even harder each day because of the sand storms, vehicles, increased industrial activity, and the burning of garbage. However, the biggest problem is that nobody takes action against the pollution.

 

Street scene in Onitsha. Photo credit
Street scene in Onitsha. Photo credit

 

Onitsha is the biggest river port city in Nigeria. Photo credit
Onitsha is the biggest river port city in Nigeria. Photo credit

 

Onitsha Inland Port. Photo credit
Onitsha Inland Port. Photo credit

According to UN research, each year, 600 thousand people in Africa die due to polluted air. But the sad thing is that most of the people are preoccupied with supporting their families, so they don’t care much about the air quality or their health because they’re addressing their immediate needs.

Besides the polluted air, they have problems with the garbage that rots on each street corner in Onitsha. The citizens complain to the government, but no action is taken to find a solution for the problem.

Near Onitsha, there are places for recycling, but even the workers there are exposed to danger since they don’t wear any protective masks. They work in an open space and get exposed to large quantities of harmful substances. Workers say that nobody takes the health of the people seriously. That there are no safety standards to help protect the people, some of which die due to respiratory issues.

 

Onitsha on the map of Nigeria. Photo credit
Onitsha on the map of Nigeria. Photo credit

The city of Onitsha is located on the eastern bank of the Niger River, in Anambra State, It is a metropolitan city famous for its river port, an economic hub for commerce, education, and industry. Igbo are the indigenous people of Onitsha and they speak the Igbo language.

 

The famous Niger River and Niger Bridge defines Onitsha as the gateway to the Igbo heartland. Photo credit
The famous Niger River and Niger Bridge defines Onitsha as the gateway to the Igbo heartland. Photo credit
Obi of Onitsha Alfred Achebe. Photo credit
Obi of Onitsha Alfred Achebe. Photo credit

The city is situated between Eastern Nigeria and Western Nigeria and is also the border between the oil-rich creeks of the Niger Delta and the densely settled Igbo hinterland. This gives the city of Onitsha strategical position as a regional hub for trade and logistics in Eastern Nigeria.

With the expansion of the Nigerian economy, Onitsha played the main role in the food distribution from various northern towns to buyers from all over Eastern Nigeria and across the West African region as well as in the trade and distribution of manufactured goods.

 

Main Market, one of the largest markets in West Africa. Photo credit
Main Market, one of the largest markets in West Africa. Photo credit
Federal expressway reconstructed by Governor Peter Obi of Anambra. Photo credit
Federal expressway reconstructed by Governor Peter Obi of Anambra. Photo credit

 

Harbor Industrial Layout of Onitsha. Photo credit
Harbor Industrial Layout of Onitsha. Photo credit

As the city grew economically and urban areas spread out, the issues with pollution gradually increased and neither the government or the health workers took any significant action to prevent it. So, in our beautiful world, there are still places that need to be avoided if you want to stay healthy.

 

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