Posted on 04 August 2009.
Forget emerging economies and fattening bank balances and open your eyes to a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Think it is difficult? Then read on. Following the list of the greenest cities, here is a list of the ten most polluted metropolitan cities in the world:
1. Beijing, China
Beijing’s smog is a constant reminder of the fact that this city has a serious pollution problem. There are almost 17 million people who live in and around Beijing. Water is a scarce and contaminated commodity, the air pollution levels are five times higher than the WHO standards, and frequent dust storms just add to the problem.
2. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires 13 million inhabitants have to deal with a problem that occurs with alarming regularity. Even slightly heavy rains cause immense flooding in the city and the drainage system comes to a grinding halt. This contaminates the water and leads to serious health and pollution hazards. It is this water pollution and lack of a disaster management strategy which gives this city such a high ranking.
3. Cairo, Egypt
Cairo has air pollution levels which are anything between 10 to 100 times higher than the WHO standards. High vehicle fuel emissions, polluting urban industries and a hot and dry desert climate are causing havoc to the inhabitants of this city and their beautiful ancient monuments. For the 17 million inhabitants of this city, it is equivalent to smoking one packet of cigarette a day.
4. Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Tanzania’s cultural and commercial hub suffers from a total lack of a waste management system. Sanitation systems are also in a mess, and lack of a good public transportation system, adds to the fuel emission problems. Hazardous and industrial is being dumped in the open, leading to health problems amongst its inhabitants.
5. Dhaka, Bangladesh
Despite being fed by three rivers, and being situated in the Ganges Delta, Dhaka is one of the most unliveable cities in the world. The waters of the rivers are the storehouse of all the human waste and the effluents of the industries. There is no really efficient water treatment system, and when you add the high levels of air pollution this makes it a very toxic city.