Traffic Police Knowledge, Attitude and Practices Concerning Motor Vehicle Air Pollution at Key Nairobi Road Junctions
Vehicular air pollution is a growing problem in Kenyan cities due to high growth rates of motorized transport that contribute significantly to the increase in atmospheric particulate matter. Fuel and vehicle engine type are associated with the type and quantity of pollutants released into the environment with diesel engines releasing more particulate matter per kilometer. Exposure to pollutants is harmful to human health and the traffic police are more vulnerable to these emissions because members are constantly exposed to motor vehicle emissions. The objective of the study was to analyze the levels and traffic police awareness, attitude and practices and the health impacts of motor vehicle Emissions pollution in the Nairobi selected road junctions. Data was collected at the Kamukunji, Railways terminals, Uhuru highway and University way roundabouts and also from 127 traffic police officer respondents manning the junctions using self-administered questionnaires. An additional five (5) senior ranking officers were recorded in a key informant discussion. The level of PM2.5 at Kamukunji Haile Selassie Avenue direction site measured was 180μg/M3 while University way roundabout State house road direction central site registered the levels of 45.0 – 46 μg/M3. However, concentrations of corresponding sites on different days of measurement varied greatly (135.0μg/M3). The wide variation in the measurements was attributed to the varying traffic, sampling location and weather conditions at the time of sampling. Motor vehicle activity is critical to health wellspring of unsafe outflows of particulate contamination in urban communities. Traffic officers were knowledgeable regarding the undesirable effects of ambient pollution on their health especially respiratory disorders e.g. difficulty in breathing, wheezing sound, lung cancer, skin disease, bronchial asthma, and pneumonia associated to motor vehicle pollution. It was observed that a high number of the traffic police staff spend a long time on the roads (approximately 10 hours/day). Because of inadequate officers, they also frequently repeat a shift. From the studies, it is recommended that policemen be sensitized more on the hazards of motor vehicle air pollution, possibly by integrating the topic in the police course curriculum. Measures to reduce emission from motor vehicles need to be enhanced. In addition, policemen manning road junctions need to be provided with protective kits to minimize their exposure.
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