Second only to New Delhi, Cairo's rampant air pollution problem is literally killing folks left and right.
What would Cairoscene be without grimy realism with our selection of news? In a spot of unsanitary news this fine morning, the World health Organisation (WHO) – after studying the world’s air pollution levels from 2011 to 2015 – has announced that our own endearing Cairo is the second most polluted megacity in the known universe, which honestly surprised us given that China exists.
According to a similar report from the United Nation’s Environment Programme, about 40,000 people all over Egypt have kicked the proverbial bucket purely due to air pollution, which is arguably less painful than getting shot, stabbed, blown up by a landmine, run over by a bus or literally just taking the train. The same report compared Cairo’s air pollution ratios to those of Tehran, Iran and Los Angeles, U.S. The culprit, according to the UN report, seems to be the absence of happy, healthy trees throughout Egypt’s capital, and they’re not wrong at all.
Surprisingly (at least to the writer), India’s New Delhi topped the charts when it came to the WHO’s report, with two other indian cities – Mumbai and Kolkata – coming in at fourth and fifth places. Again; China. It comes as no surprise, however, that Cairo would take up such a prestigious spot on the list; seeing as we have about 20 million people (the largest city in the MENA region) cramped into what is arguably a glorified concrete sardine can with about 19,376 people occupying each square kilometre. So congratulations, Cairenes, and let’s hope somebody starts selling discount gas masks soon.
Main photo from Nina Hale.