Ambient air pollution is a major contributor to mortality and morbidity. Fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) is especially harmful to health because it can pass lung barriers and enter the blood stream, causing premature deaths, and respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
Globally, exposure to ambient PM 2.5 caused 2.9 million premature deaths in 2017, or about 9 percent of total deaths in the world. In West Africa, it was responsible for about 80,000 premature deaths the same year. The problem is particularly acute in Nigeria which had the highest number of premature deaths due to ambient PM 2.5 in the region.
Lagos, a coastal city of 24 million people, exemplifies how air quality is upending Africa megacities’ growth, health and livelihoods. Despite growing concern about air pollution, there is currently no reliable estimate of the impact of ambient air pollution, nor a comprehensive air pollution control plan.
The study ‘The Cost of Air Pollution in Lagos’ addresses these knowledge gaps. It estimates the impact of ambient PM 2.5 on health, analyzes the main pollution sources, and recommends a set of possible options to control air pollution in Lagos.
About the authors
Lelia Croitoru is an Environmental Economist who has worked extensively on the economics of natural resources, particularly related to air quality, coastal zone, forests and water. She has edited two books on the cost of environmental degradation and on forest ecosystem valuation in several African and Middle Eastern countries; and has co-authored other reports on natural resource valuation. She has operational experience in Africa, Middle East and South Asia. She holds a PhD in Environmental Economics from the University of Padova, Italy, and a Masters in Agricultural Economics from the University of Bucharest, Romania.
Joseph Akpokodje is a Senior Environmental Specialist in the World Bank Nigeria Country Office and leads the Lagos Pollution Management and Environmental Health Advisory Services and Analytics (ASA). He recently co-led the roll-out of the Environmental and Safeguards Framework capacity building program for Nigeria. He has worked with the Bank for 15 years as consultant and staff, supporting Bank operations on project management, policy development, dialogue and client/ donor engagement. He has a Master's in Environmental Economics from the University of York, UK; BSc in Economics from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and an Executive certificate in Climate Change economics and Governance from LSE, UK.
Jiyoun Christina Chang is a Young Professional in World Bank’s Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy Global Practice. She works on operations and advisory programs related to circular economy, resource efficiency and pollution. Prior to joining the Bank, she did research about resource efficiency and material recycling at MIT. She studied various material industries such as aluminum, paper, and steel industries, which are among the most energy-intensive industrial sectors. She holds BS and MS in Materials Science and Engineering from Yonsei University and PhD from MIT.
Andrew Kelly is CEO of EnvEcon Decision Support, a specialized economics and decision-support company operating out of Dublin, Ireland. EnvEcon specializes in the appraisal, design, implementation and management of policies and interventions to achieve (or support) a defined political or corporate objective. Andrew has served and continues to serve on several national and international expert groups and Task Forces including the Irish Government, European Commission and United Nations ECE. Kelly has worked as consultant for Morgan Stanley, SIDA and the World Bank on investment appraisal, program evaluations and international development.