Impact of Corona Virus Stay-at-Home Policies on Traffic Emissions and Ambient Pollutant Concentrations in Ghana, West Africa

Benjamin Afotey,1*Email

Melanie Sattler,2

Niloofar Parsaeifard,3

Yvette Pearson,

Mithila Chakraborty5

Sunakshi Hada 6

1Department of Chemical Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Private Mail Bag, University Post Office, KNUST- Kumasi, Ghana

2Department of Civil Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, 416 Yates St., Suite 425 Nedderman Hall, Arlington, TX 76010, USA

3Department of Civil Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, 416 Yates St., Suite 425 Nedderman Hall, Arlington, TX 76010, USA

4Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, 800 W Campbell Rd, Richardson, TX 75080, USA

5Department of Civil Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, 416 Yates St., Suite 425 Nedderman Hall, Arlington, TX 76010, USA

6Department of Civil Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, 416 Yates St., Suite 425 Nedderman Hall, Arlington, TX 76010, USA

Abstract

The objective of this study is to determine how policies for stay-at-home (lockdown) and phases of easing the lockdown, implemented by the Government of Ghana to slow the spread of COVID-19, impacted traffic emissions and ambient concentrations of particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5). Monthly data was collected from January 2020 to June 2020from four roadside monitoring locations using Mini Vol Air Samplers. High-volume ambient samplers were used to collect PM data at two permanent (industrial and residential) locations. Monthly concentrations were plotted versus time over the six-month period. Results showed that PM2.5 concentrations decreased over Greater Accra in the month of April during the initial lockdown, when only essential workers went to work, and increased thereafter. PM2.5 concentrations were lowered by 45.5%, 46.7%, 82.4%, 72.7% at Kaneshie First Light, Shangri-la, Tantra Hill and Amasaman roadside monitoring locations respectively, compared with 2019 data. This was consistent with measured reductions in mobility during the lock-down. PM10 concentrations for the same four roadside monitoring locations, however, were higher during the lockdown compared to data for the same period in 2019; PM10 concentrations at the industrial monitoring site near the electric power plant were also higher. This increase may have been due to residential biomass burning during stay-at-home orders, or increased electricity production to support home activity. In conclusion, worldwide researches collected pollution data using remote sensing and satellite data where in this study conducted in Ghana pollution data collected on ground-level monitors.

Impact of Corona Virus Stay-at-Home Policies on Traffic Emissions and Ambient Pollutant Concentrations in Ghana, West Africa