Macedonian citizens in Skopje advised to stay indoors due to high pollution index

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  • Carlin
    Senior Member
    • Dec 2011
    • 3332

    Macedonian citizens in Skopje advised to stay indoors due to high pollution index

    Macedonian citizens in Skopje advised to stay indoors due to high pollution index

    URL -


    SKOPJE, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning in Macedonia issued a health advisory on Tuesday to recommend citizens in the capital city of Skopje to stay indoors and reduce pollution exposure due to the latest readings exceeding 200 on air quality index (AQI) scale in the last two days.

    According to the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, the latest readings in the monitoring stations show that the pollution level in Skopje ranges from 256 to 163 scale in different areas.

    The health advisory was based on pollution indexes reaching the 200 limit at two monitoring stations in two subsequent days.

    201-300 AQI levels are considered very unhealthy, warranting health warnings of emergency conditions.

    Skopje in December 2017 - Photo By Reuters


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    Last edited by Carlin; 12-06-2018, 06:56 PM.
  • Carlin
    Senior Member
    • Dec 2011
    • 3332

    #2
    Meet The Macedonian Software Engineer Fighting Air Pollution With An App

    URL:
    Macedonia’s Tetovo and Skopje lay unenviable claim to being Europe's two most polluted cities in 2018. But a Macedonian software engineer is hoping to make vital environmental change- with an app.


    Macedonia’s Tetovo and Skopje lay unenviable claim to being the continent’s two most polluted cities in 2018 – holding air pollution indexes of 95.57 and 83.53.

    The annual average of PM2.5 concentrations, particles that cause hazy air and contribute to respiratory illnesses, heart disease, stroke and cancer, in Skopje frequently go three times higher than the limits set in the U.S. by the Environmental Protection Agency. Research drawn from the European Air Quality Index and Berkeley Earth’s real time air quality map also illustrate this bleak picture.

    Public health institutions have issued warnings as roughly 1500 people in Macedonia die a year because of air pollution. In the period 2015-2016, there were 1469 air-pollution related deaths. Pollution is so rampant that many Macedonians – particularly in Skopje and Tetovo, are buying air purifiers for their homes. On average an air purifier costs around 400 euros, which is close to the average monthly salary.

    Amid this, Gorjan Jovanovski – a Macedonian software engineer, created an air monitoring app in 2014 called MojVozduh (MyAir), which draws directly from public data around Macedonia.

    ‘It started as a web page at first, to see if there was interest with people,’ Gorjan says, ‘Then I moved it to an app format because it is the easiest way for people to get information. No other platform can provide a place to share this information in an automated, clear and understandable way, so I had to make my own.’

    As well as users accessing the webpage, MojVozduh has been downloaded on Android and iOS by near 100,000 users – an astonishing feat for a country of 2 million.The app uses data sources from over 40 measuring stations around Macedonia that users can check – a mix of Government and University Goce Delchev stations, as well as volunteers from the Pulse project.

    ‘But we also use satellite data from the European Space Agency to try and see pollution from the sky which is only available on the Android version for now,’ Gorjan adds.

    ‘People did not believe that it was very polluted. They knew it wasn’t the best, but at certain times it was going 20 times over the EU limit,’.

    During the winter the problem is compounded: coal power stations ramp up production, and wood and coal stoves burn in homes across the country. Even the geography intensifies the problem, as Gorjan explains, ‘The mountains contribute to temperature inversion where hot air from heating goes up and cold air goes down. They push on each other and create a lid over Skopje, trapping the pollution inside.’

    There has been growing discontent with the Macedonian government over pollution. Many demonstrations have taken place in the last few years. Recently, protestors in Skopje city centre displayed placards reading: “Four die daily waiting for clean air” and “It’s time for clean air”. The protests and discontent have likely been fuelled by an increase in the accessibility of information.

    The Macedonian government has pledged to fight air pollution – aiming to halve Skopje pollution in just two years, with similar reductions across the country. The plan includes new air pollution monitoring stations, a reduction in VAT tax and subsidies to encourage households to use central heating instead of wood. However, despite the pledge for a subsidy, central heating is terribly costly compared to wood-burning stoves- it is unlikely Macedonians will be changing in a haste.

    But, many Eastern European economies, like Macedonia, are dominated by mining and construction, which came with the communist era infrastructure where the use of coal and wood was leading. The Environment Minister Jani Makraduli said: ‘The swift adoption of the new law on industrial emissions, with stricter rules, will be the key’

    Macedonia has hopes of joining the EU and some progress is anticipated, with pressure, to come close to the expected European standards. The cost of emission is expected to rise as the EU tightens its emissions-trading scheme, thus making the continued use of high emitting power sources uneconomical.

    Comment

    • sydney
      Member
      • Sep 2008
      • 390

      #3
      The condom revolutionaries cried foul against the previous government for the air pollution, just one of a number of factors taking away their opportunity at prosperity. Where are they now to demonstrate?

      Comment

      • Gocka
        Senior Member
        • Dec 2012
        • 2306

        #4
        Originally posted by nushevski77
        what is the reason for the high air pollution?
        Many factors contribute.

        Most Macedonians use wood burning stoves to heat their homes, in a city of 500-700,000 that is a lot. Apart from using coal this is probably the second dirtiest fuel type.

        There are factories in and around Skopje that produce emissions

        There are many old cars that are still driven in Macedonia that are light years away from today's emission standards.

        Emissions standards and enforcement is quite lax

        Skopje's topography contributes to the pollution being trapped in its atmosphere.

        Comment

        • Phoenix
          Senior Member
          • Dec 2008
          • 4671

          #5
          Originally posted by Gocka View Post
          Many factors contribute.

          Most Macedonians use wood burning stoves to heat their homes, in a city of 500-700,000 that is a lot. Apart from using coal this is probably the second dirtiest fuel type.

          There are factories in and around Skopje that produce emissions

          There are many old cars that are still driven in Macedonia that are light years away from today's emission standards.

          Emissions standards and enforcement is quite lax

          Skopje's topography contributes to the pollution being trapped in its atmosphere.
          ...and the penchant for most citizens to chain-smoke like dragons.

          Comment

          • Gocka
            Senior Member
            • Dec 2012
            • 2306

            #6
            Originally posted by Phoenix View Post
            ...and the penchant for most citizens to chain-smoke like dragons.
            My 86 year old grandmother always mocks my cousins. "pusat cigari deka imet premnogu pari"

            To those who might not understand its roughly "They smoke because they have too much money".

            Comment

            • Phoenix
              Senior Member
              • Dec 2008
              • 4671

              #7
              Originally posted by Gocka View Post
              My 86 year old grandmother always mocks my cousins. "pusat cigari deka imet premnogu pari"

              To those who might not understand its roughly "They smoke because they have too much money".
              ...now that the name problem has been creatively moved on and the fact that it will open up a pandora's box of never before imagined prosperity as the northerners bath in the tepid golden shower emanating from the roof of the parliament building, your grandmothers wisdom will finally and conclusively have true literal meaning.

              Comment

              • Carlin
                Senior Member
                • Dec 2011
                • 3332

                #8
                Скопје најзагаден град во светот, цела Македонија се гуши

                URL:


                28. ЈАНУАРИ 2019

                Сервисот „Ер Вижуал“ кој постојано ја следи состојбата на загадувањето на воздухот во големите градови во светот претпладнево го стави Скопје на врвот на светската листа, со индекс од 217 според AQI.

                По Скопје е Дака, Бангладеш, со индекс 189, па Чонгќинг во Кина со иста вредност. Подолу, со индекс 186 е Вухан, Кина, па Калкута со 166.

                Но, не е само Скопје загаден град во државава. Загаденоста е огромна низ цела Македонија. Граѓаните буквално се гушат.

                Освен во Скопје, вечерва најзагадено е во Струмица.

                Струмица во ноември 2012 стана прва системски гасифицирана општина во Република Македонија. Струмица во јануари 2019 е најзагадениот град во Македонија, позагаден и од Скопје. Нели гасификацијата ќе го решеше загадувањето со воздухот? Кога се даваат површни пароли, тогаш имаме ваква реалност, се вели во реакцијата-анализа од 02 Коалиција.

                Граѓаните го изразуваа својот револт кон власта, велејќи дека иако нејзините претставници ветуваа почист воздух откако ќе ја преземат власта, две години потоа нема ништо од ветеното, а загаденоста е дури и поголема.

                Comment

                • Gocka
                  Senior Member
                  • Dec 2012
                  • 2306

                  #9
                  Macedonians don't appreciate the long term consequences of such high pollution. In due time cases of cancer, birth defects, and other illnesses will be on the rise. Couple that with the dilapidated Macedonian health care system and the fact that the country is mostly poor, and you have a crisis in the making.

                  Their pig headed nature is literally going to kill them some day. What is wrong with these people! Do they take anything seriously?

                  Comment

                  • VMRO
                    Senior Member
                    • Sep 2008
                    • 1462

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Gocka View Post
                    Macedonians don't appreciate the long term consequences of such high pollution. In due time cases of cancer, birth defects, and other illnesses will be on the rise. Couple that with the dilapidated Macedonian health care system and the fact that the country is mostly poor, and you have a crisis in the making.

                    Their pig headed nature is literally going to kill them some day. What is wrong with these people! Do they take anything seriously?
                    They will complain on facebook and then business will be as usual.

                    Backward dickheads.
                    Verata vo Mislite, VMRO vo dushata, Makedonia vo Srceto.

                    Vnatreshna Makedonska Revolucionerna Organizacija.

                    Comment

                    • Vangelovski
                      Senior Member
                      • Sep 2008
                      • 8532

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Gocka View Post
                      Many factors contribute.

                      Most Macedonians use wood burning stoves to heat their homes, in a city of 500-700,000 that is a lot. Apart from using coal this is probably the second dirtiest fuel type.

                      There are factories in and around Skopje that produce emissions

                      There are many old cars that are still driven in Macedonia that are light years away from today's emission standards.

                      Emissions standards and enforcement is quite lax

                      Skopje's topography contributes to the pollution being trapped in its atmosphere.
                      I thought it was all those factories that opened up through foreign investment.
                      If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

                      The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations...This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution. John Adams

                      Comment

                      • Carlin
                        Senior Member
                        • Dec 2011
                        • 3332

                        #12
                        One of the factors is ... wait for it ... the Burning of IMPORTED WASTE from other countries.

                        Macedonia has no capacity to deal with its own waste, so WASTE IMPORTS from EU countries (i.e. hazardous/toxic waste) leave many doubts and questions as to what is going on. Eco-activists in Macedonia are claiming that one of the factors of air pollution is the burning of this imported toxic waste.

                        (I believe that I have read that Italy "exports" its toxic waste to Albania, as another example.)

                        Comment

                        • Gocka
                          Senior Member
                          • Dec 2012
                          • 2306

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Vangelovski View Post
                          I thought it was all those factories that opened up through foreign investment.
                          Could be could be. I'm sure the release of all the methane is not helping either.

                          Originally posted by Carlin15 View Post
                          One of the factors is ... wait for it ... the Burning of IMPORTED WASTE from other countries.

                          Macedonia has no capacity to deal with its own waste, so WASTE IMPORTS from EU countries (i.e. hazardous/toxic waste) leave many doubts and questions as to what is going on. Eco-activists in Macedonia are claiming that one of the factors of air pollution is the burning of this imported toxic waste.

                          (I believe that I have read that Italy "exports" its toxic waste to Albania, as another example.)
                          My first reaction would be to call BS because obviously no one would be stupid enough to poison their air an their homes in such a way. Then i remember there is a place called NMK, where people walk all over each other, just for the opportunity..... to fuck over their own people.

                          Comment

                          • Carlin
                            Senior Member
                            • Dec 2011
                            • 3332

                            #14
                            Inside Skopje, Europe's most polluted capital city

                            Residents fear for their future after pollution in North Macedonia's capital reaches alarming levels.

                            by Joi Lee & Viktorija Mickute

                            URL:


                            Skopje, North Macedonia - Every winter, the pollution in Skopje skyrockets to alarmingly high rates.

                            In 2018, Skopje became the most polluted capital city in Europe, reaching the highest annual mean of PM 2.5, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

                            Tiny particles named for their diameter of 2.5 micrometres - about three percent of the diameter of a human hair - PM 2.5 are considered the most dangerous air pollutants for health.

                            They are small enough to penetrate the respiratory system, and even the bloodstream, and have been linked to premature deaths and various diseases.

                            "By breathing this air, we are slowly dying," Tomislav Maksimovski, a Skopje resident, told Al Jazeera.

                            "We feel the pollution. You can feel it in your mouth and lungs. Our children are suffering and our parents are coughing. We don't deserve to live in such a polluted city."

                            Skopje, in the centre of the Balkan Peninsula, is nestled in a valley between mountain ranges that hem the city in from the north and the south. This landscape proves deadly in the winter.

                            As warm air rises up from the mountains, it meets the colder, heavier air travelling downwards. This temperature inversion creates a blanket of smog that settles heavily over the valley, trapping polluted air on city streets and in the lungs of residents.

                            "Some of the pollution problems specific to the western Balkans may be due to industries, in general, older than in the rest of Europe, as well as domestic heating," said Alberto Gonzalez Ortiz, an air quality expert from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

                            "For instance, the use of coal implies that the PM emissions are high. The vehicles may also be older than in other parts of Western Europe."

                            Many of the power plants and small factories in North Macedonia have been there since the communist era, before the 1990s, and burn brown coal (lignite) - which is cheap and abundant, but highly polluting.

                            A 2016 study by the Health and Environment Alliance found that within areas of former Yugoslav countries, 16 lignite plants emit as much pollution as all of the EU's 296 power plants combined.

                            The loosely regulated old vehicles that crowd Skopje is also highly polluting.

                            Many of those came by way of the European Union when the previous VMRO-DPMNE government in the country allowed the import of old vehicles in 2010.

                            Many of these ran on diesel and no longer met EU environmental standards.

                            But the biggest contributors to pollution are the combustion processes, at 77 percent, which include household heating.

                            "Another reason for the pollution is that too many citizens, because of their financial situation, use firewood for heating," said Jani Makraduli, North Macedonia's deputy minister of environment.

                            Although the country's electricity tariffs, alongside Serbia, are among the lowest in Europe, energy can cost up to a third, or even a half, of the average monthly salary, especially during winter.

                            Most residents cannot afford clean energy heating sources, and as many as 42 to 45 percent of the city's residents turn to firewood to heat their homes.

                            A lot of that is purchased on the black market - cheaper but more toxic to the environment.

                            Heart diseases and strokes account for 80 percent of the premature deaths associated with air pollution, with lung diseases and lung cancer in tow, as well as other respiratory cardiovascular diseases and cancers.

                            "Some of the more serious complications from polluted air are the carcinogenesis," said Nikola Brznov, a doctor who works in the emergency department at Mother Teresa University Hospital in Skopje.

                            Younger generation at risk

                            Air pollution is also linked to negative health impacts on newborns and children, including on neural development and cognitive capacities that can lower performance and quality of life as the child grows older.

                            "After long-term exposure to polluted air, our organs start to manifest that in some chronic illness, mainly respiratory diseases and heart diseases. In the long run, I think the younger generation will be affected," added Brznov.

                            With more studies explaining the link between pollution and health, as well as air-monitoring apps like MojVozduh (MyAir) that draw data from over 40 measuring stations in North Macedonia, citizens are more educated about the scale and effect of pollution.

                            However, there are still many concerns, including those of parents across the city who are worried about their children's futures.

                            "I am afraid of the pollution and I am concerned for my kids," said Ivana Georgievska, a mother of three. "That's why we try to use our free time to go out of the city for fresh air, either on Vodno mountain or in the village."

                            Maksimovski, who has one child, said in "10 years, our health and that of our children will deteriorate significantly".

                            Late last year, the government announced, for the first time, a strategy towards combating pollution, aiming to halve it in Skopje over the next two years.

                            Some key factors include encouraging and supporting residents to move from fuel-burning heating to more ecological sources like gas or central heating.

                            However, many residents are doubting the government is making an appropriate investment, having set aside only a small annual budget of 1.6 million euros ($1.8m), which experts say is not enough.

                            "We are not seeing that the government is fighting pollution," said Davor Vrgovikj who is part of the Cancerogenous Society which organises weekly protests in Skopje.

                            "Our main demand is for more funds to be allocated. We don't care what political party it is. We don't ask for medals. We just want clean air."

                            Comment

                            • Risto the Great
                              Senior Member
                              • Sep 2008
                              • 15659

                              #15
                              Surely NATO has fixed this by now.
                              Risto the Great
                              MACEDONIA:ANHEDONIA
                              "Holding my breath for the revolution."

                              Hey, I wrote a bestseller. Check it out: www.ren-shen.com

                              Comment

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