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Onitsha and three other cities in Nigeria listed among top 20 of the most populated cities in the World

Onitsha, a fast growing city in Anambra, a South-East state in Nigeria, has been tagged the world’s most polluted city according to a report published by the World Economic Forum.

The list was gotten from the World Health Organisation’s Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database (2016 Update) which contains urban air quality data of 3,ooo cities, collected between 2011 and 2015.

According to the report, “Of the 3,000 cities in the WHO’s air quality database, the most polluted at the time of measurement was Onitsha, a fast-growing city in Nigeria, which recorded roughly 30 times more than the WHO’s recommended levels of PM10 particles. Peshawar in Pakistan was in second place, followed by Zabol in Iran.”

Other Nigerian cities included in the list were, Kaduna (5th), Aba (6th), and Umuahia (16th).

Director, WHO’s Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health, Dr. Maria Neira who commented on the data said:

Urban air pollution continues to rise at an alarming rate, wreaking havoc on human health. At the same time, awareness is rising and more cities are monitoring their air quality. When air quality improves, global respiratory and cardiovascular-related illnesses decrease.