Every large city has a pollution problem, but then there are ones who are really dirty. What factors are usually considered when ranking cities in terms of dirtiness? In most cases, it’s the level of air pollution that is considered. In other cases, the considerations include; challenges of waste disposal, methods of cleaning up after occurrence of environmental disasters and strategies for preventing contamination, among others.
According to recent reports by Mercer’s AH & SI and World Health Organization, the world’s dirtiest cities are as follows:
- New Delhi, India
The high pollution levels in India’s capital city are mainly attributed to overpopulation, terrible traffic jams and large amounts of toxic materials that flow into River Yamuna. New Delhi has a toxic mix of geography, unfavorable weather, exponential growth and inadequate energy sources that significantly contribute to extremely high pollution levels.
- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
If you move to Addis Ababa today, you’ll find it hard to believe that sanitation really exists. Those who are charged with the responsibility of cleaning up the city usually do very shoddy jobs. According to testimonials by travelers on TripAdvisor, you can find dust and dirt nearly everywhere.
- Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City is located about 7, 350 ft above sea level, an altitude with little oxygen. Additionally, it’s the home of about 4 million vehicles. As a result of these factors, there is incomplete burning of hydrocarbons-particularly diesel emissions- which ultimately result in massive air pollution.
- Karachi, Pakistan
In Karachi, waste treatment plans aren’t properly managed because of tussles between the local and national governments. According to mainstream media outlets, none of the bodies wants to take full responsibility for administration of the waste treatment facilities. Additionally, the sewerage treatment plans have inadequate capacity. Emissions from factories and high number of vehicles that Pakistanis own are also a major problem.
- Port au Prince
This is Haiti’s most populous city and its capital as well. Port au Prince has experienced a number of environmental disasters in the recent past, including an earthquake that occurred in 2010, Hurricane Mathew as well as cholera outbreak. Prevalence of cholera and other contagious diseases in the city is mainly attributed to poor sanitation systems.
- Antananarivo, Madagascar
The city boasts of massive air pollution, poor garbage disposal and pollution of drinking water. Even though most of the drinking water is contaminated, it’s still difficult to access it. Exponential development of industries and rapid urban population are the primary factors that lead to immense air pollution, water pollution as well as rapid deforestation.
- Dhaka, Bangladesh
Brick-fields in Bangladesh’ capital produce greenhouse gases amounting to about 10 million tons every year, courtesy of old technology. In addition to the fields, there are factories that fail to take responsibility for their actions, weak environment laws and improper enforcement of legislation regarding environmental protection and conservation. Widespread use of commercial pesticides significantly contributes to water pollution. Additionally, traffic jams that occur in Dhaka are terrible.