Monitoring air quality

Each year, nearly 128,000 deaths are reported in the country because of air-related illnesses

November 20, 2022

The Balochistan government has inaugurated Air Quality Monitoring Systems (AQMS) to regularly monitor air quality in the province. Considering that several Pakistani cities have consistently reported high levels of air pollution, the Balochistan government has taken a step in the right direction. The initiative will allow the government to intervene where necessary and implement strategies to cut down pollution.

Each year, nearly 128,000 deaths are reported in the country because of air-related illnesses. Monitoring air quality across the province can help reduce air-borne viruses and bacteria as harmful chemicals will be detected and rooted out. With the emergence of new factories in parts of Balochistan, implementing precautionary measures early on will help the province avoid a situation like in Lahore or Karachi in the future. Technical staff at the AQMS stations will also ensure that industries and development sites are complying with environmental laws, which can improve general awareness. A deteriorating environment may threaten Balochistan’s abundant natural resources, which is why the provincial government has also initiated plans to establish an environmental laboratory. This will help the provincial government identify contaminants affecting the air, water and soil and allow researchers to innovate and find ways to preserve the environment.

The rapidly aggravating environmental conditions and changes in weather patterns have amplified the need for greater research and innovation in the environment. Given that all four provinces have diverse environments and climatic conditions, the Balochistan government’s initiatives should encourage other provincial governments to undertake similar projects. Pakistan is already facing climate and environmental challenges; therefore, both federal and provincial governments should pool resources to develop a policy framework to protect the environment and keep pace with the sustainable development agenda.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2022.

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