A study conducted by the United Nations has revealed that almost 173 million people in Pakistan are exposed to medium and high levels of poor air quality due to sand and dust storms.
According to the report titled ‘Sand and Dust Storm Risk Assessment in Asia and the Pacific’, Pakistan is the second most affected country in the region where people are exposed to low qualities of air.
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More than 500 million people in India, 62 million people in Iran, and 40 million people in China are exposed to poor air quality.
The study released by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) detailed that in proportionate terms, more than 80 percent of the entire populations of Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Iran are exposed to medium and high levels of poor air quality because of sand and dust storms.
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In Pakistan, the impact of sand and dust storms on the generation of electricity by solar power plants is estimated to be around $37 million per year, while the loss in India is around $107 million, and $46 million in China.
The study found that sand and storms are a growing risk to the generation of electricity as governments strive to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy.