In a disheartening revelation, Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, has seized the ignominious distinction of being the world’s most polluted major city. This unsettling information has been unveiled by IQAir, an air quality monitoring firm, as Jakarta grapples with an alarming surge in toxic smog that authorities are struggling to contain.Air pollution, a grave concern with ramifications for human health, is estimated to contribute to a staggering seven million premature deaths annually. This crisis has led the United Nations to deem air pollution the most significant environmental health hazard.
Amid this troubling scenario, Jakarta and its sprawling environs, home to approximately 30 million people, have manifested as a megalopolis that has overshadowed other urban centers notorious for high pollution levels, including Riyadh, Doha, and Lahore. The focal point of Jakarta’s pollution predicament revolves around the elevated concentration of minute particulates referred to as PM2.5, which can penetrate respiratory pathways and precipitate respiratory ailments.IQAir’s pollution data, which exclusively tracks major cities, has showcased Jakarta at the zenith of its rankings every day since the beginning of the week, as documented by an AFP tally. The air quality monitoring company’s findings accentuate the severity of Jakarta’s air pollution quandary, emphasizing its consistent poor performance in terms of air quality.
The city has frequently documented PM2.5 levels deemed “unhealthy,” soaring far above the recommended thresholds stipulated by the World Health Organization. This disconcerting data underlines the pressing need for comprehensive measures to mitigate the public health hazards posed by the city’s contaminated air.President Joko Widodo, acknowledging the gravity of the situation, communicated his intentions to address the escalating pollution levels. He announced plans to alleviate “Jakarta’s burden,” an endeavor that aligns with Indonesia’s upcoming relocation of its capital to Nusantara on Borneo island in the coming year. This strategic move not only aims to alleviate the strain on Jakarta’s resources but also seeks to forge a new chapter in the nation’s development.As Jakarta contends with the disheartening distinction of being the world’s most polluted major city, it is a stark reminder of the critical need for international collaboration to combat air pollution and safeguard the health and well-being of global populations.