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.
6. Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City’s air is believed to be safe to breathe only 31 days in the years! Around 1,00,000 children die due to pollution complications every years. The renowned traffic snarls of this city are the major cause of fuel intoxicants. There are also over 50,000 small factories in and around the city. All this adds to make a deadly cocktail.
7. Moscow, Russia
This city seems to have more radioactive waste sites than anywhere in the world. These have been generated by the over 2000 research institutes which used to exist in this city. Even today the government is collecting radioactive waste and trying to bury it in special tombs. But the city’s inhabitants have already been exposed for years to high radiation levels.
8. New Delhi, India
As with most other metropolises, Delhi has a major water problem. Its main source of water, the river Yamuna is highly polluted with high levels of chemicals and pollutants. The high number of cars only adds to the present levels of pollution, and the dense population of the city has to cope with smog, impure water and health problems.
9. Linfen, China
A city of about 3 million inhabitants, it is situated in the heart of the coal mining industry. The air is believed to be the worst in China, most homes are totally soot-blackened.
10. Dzerzhinsk, Russia
Not really a metropolis, but this town is believed to be the most polluted town in the world. It lives with a residue of 3,00,000 tonnes of chemical waste, which were dumped here many years ago.