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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has named Onitsha, in Anambra State, Nigeria, as the world’s most polluted city.

The WHO made the disclosure via a report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

According to the report, Onitsha is number one because it produced pollution “levels of nearly 600 micrograms per cubic metre of PM10s – around 30 times the WHO recommended level of 20 micrograms per cubic metre.”

“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,” the report continued.

World's most polluted countries play

World's most polluted countries



“These cities are mostly located in rapidly growing economies in the Middle East and South East Asia. Four of the 20 urban areas with the worst air quality at the time of measurement were in Nigeria, three were in Saudi Arabia, three were in India, and two in Iran.

“China, which has been working to tackle its air pollution problem, is the only country with just one city on the most polluted list. The Eastern Mediterranean (covering the Middle East and parts of North Africa) and South East Asia were the regions that performed worst overall in the database – with urban air pollution rising 5% in more than two-thirds of cities. Annual mean levels of air pollution in cities in these regions often exceeded five to 10 times WHO limits,” it added.

Three other Nigerian cities, Aba, Kaduna and Umuahia, were featured in the top 20.

Also on the list are Peshawar, Pakistan; Zabol, Iran; Rawalpindi, also in Pakistan; Ralpur, India; Kabul, Afghanistan; Ma’ameer, Bahrain; and Boshehr which is also in Iran.


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