According to the latest urban air quality data, about 98% of cities with over 100,000 inhabitants in low- and middle-income countries do not meet WHO air quality guidelines.
Of the 3,000 cities in the WHO’s air quality database, Four of the 20 urban areas with the worst air quality at the time of measurement were in Nigeria, three were in Saudi Arabia, three were in India, and two in Iran.
Onitsha, a city in Nigeria is the most polluted it recorded roughly 30 times more than the WHO’s recommended levels of PM10 particles. Peshawar in Pakistan was in second place, followed by Zabol in Iran.
The Infographic below shows the graphic visual representation of a report from World Economic Forum as posted by their Twitter handle.
So which cities have the worst air quality?
1. Onitsha, Nigeria
Onitsha is a city located on the eastern bank of the Niger River, in Nigeria’s Anambra State. It is known for its river port, and as an economic hub for commerce, industry, and education.
2. Peshawar, Pakistan
Peshawar is the capital of the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It also serves as the administrative centre and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Peshawar
3. Zabol, Iran
of Zabol County, Sistan and Baluchestan Province , Iran . Zabol lies on the border with Afghanistan. Referred to as Sistan until the late 1920s, the city was renamed Zabol by Reza Shah Pahlavi. At the 2006 census, its population was 130,642, in 27,867 families.
4. Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Rawalpindi is a city in Punjab , Pakistan . It is the fourth-largest city in Pakistan by population. The economy of Rawalpindi is interlinked with Islamabad, and the two are jointly known as the ” twin cities”. The city is the administrative seat of the Rawalpindi District.
5. Kaduna, Nigeria
Kaduna is the state capital of Kaduna State in north-western Nigeria, on the Kaduna River, it is a trade center and a major transportation hub for the surrounding agricultural areas with its rail and road junction. The population of Kaduna was at 760,084 as of the 2006 Nigerian census. Rapid urbanization over the past decade has created an increasingly large population, now estimated to be around 2 million.
6. Aba, Nigeria
Aba is a city in the southeast of Nigeria and the commercial center of Abia State . The city ‘Aba’ is a major urban settlement and commercial centre in a region that is surrounded by small villages and towns.
7. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Riyadh is the capital and most populous city of Saudi Arabia. It is also the capital of Riyadh Province and belongs to the historical regions of Najd and Al-Yamama. It is situated in the center of the Arabian Peninsula on a large plateau and home to more than six million people.
8. Al jubail, Saudi Arabia
Jubail is a city in the Eastern province on the Persian Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia . It is the host of the largest industrial city in the Middle East. It is also home to the Middle East’s largest and world’s fourth largest petrochemical company.
In 1975, the Saudi government designated Jubail as the site for a new industrial city, with rapid expansion and industrialization arising and now Jubail Industrial City is the largest civil engineering project in the world today.
9. Mazar-i sharif, Afghanistan
Mazar-i-Sharif is the third-largest city of Afghanistan, with a 2015 UN—Habitat population estimate between 577,500 and 693,000. It is the capital of Balkh province and is linked by highways with Kunduz in the east, Kabul in the southeast, Herat in the west and Uzbekistan in the north. Mazar-e Sharif, along with Herat, Jalalabad in the east and
Kandahar in the south, makes Afghanistan an important strategic location in Asia. The city also serves as one of the many tourist attractions because of its famous shrines as well as the Muslim and Hellenistic archeological sites.
10. Gwalior, Kndia
Gwalior is a major city in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and one of the Counter-magnet cities. It has population of about More than 2 million. Post-independence, Gwalior has emerged as an important tourist attraction in central India while many industries and administrative offices came up within the city