Ahvaz in south west Iran is the world’s worst city for air pollution according to the World Health Organisation.There are three other Iranian cities in their list of the worst ten cities for air pollution: Sanadaj (number 3), Kermanshah (number 6) and Yasouj (number 9). And while not in the worst ten, Tehran is notorious as one of the smoggiest capitals in the world. Trapped by the Alborz mountains, car fumes hang over the sprawling metropolis. Badly refined petrol has made the situation even worse. Now, in the last week or so, massive dust storms have come to further darken these already polluted skies. In response the authorities in Tehran have issued a warning that the air pollution has reached an ‘emergency’ level.
For Iran’s several million asthma victims and her old people, the air pollution situation can be fatal. In 2010 when there was another emergency, an official report stated that over 3,000 had died due to the pollution. Another source suggests that over 20 people die every day in Tehran because of the smog. The government has been trying to limit the amount of car use to ease the pollution.
In the midst of this further challenge to living ordinary lives, it is important that Christians be creative in thinking of ways to help their neighbours and ease the pain for those who are especially vulnerable to poor air quality.
• Victims of the smog
• Authorities to control the pollution
• Christians to be able to help.