Jakarta – Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has said that air pollution is a significant health issue in the capital, causing more than 5 million illnesses a year.
During a webinar on Wednesday, Anies said there should be an effort to improve air quality in Jakarta so that people could lead healthier and more productive lives for the sake of economic stability.
"Experts have said that 5.5 million diseases in this city are caused by air pollution each year. That means almost 11 cases per minute, and the health expenses are up to Rp 6.8 trillion [US$458 million]," Anies said, as quoted by kompas.com on Wednesday.
The severe air pollution in Jakarta stems mostly from vehicle emissions, factories and coal-fired power plants.
According to a 2017 Greenpeace report titled Jakarta's Silent Killer, eight coal-fired power plants operate within 100 kilometers of Jakarta, producing hazardous pollutants that affect the capital city.
Jakarta's air is contaminated by various pollutants, including PM 10, PM 2.5, SO2, O3, CO, NOx and Pb.
On July 4, 2019, 32 citizens filed a pollution-related lawsuit against seven state officials: the President, the environment and forestry minister, the health minister, the home affairs minister and the governors of Jakarta, Banten and West Java.
The group, under the Coalition for the Clean Air Initiative, urged government officials to have "a serious attitude" about guaranteeing the right to health. (dpk)