We Fight For Our Air

Love Ssega

Season for Change Commissioned artist, Love Ssega, releases new single to raise awareness for cleaner air in London

Continuing on the theme of ‘Earth Day, Every Day‘ a week after EarthDay 2021, former lead singer of international dance band Clean Bandit, Love Ssega has released a new track Our World (Fighting for Air) in memory of Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, a nine-year-old girl from Lewisham who died as a result of pollution.

The Airs of the South Circular project, part of Season for Change, features epic billboards across South London and a downloadable 16-page comic climate manifesto.

Love Ssega’s work focuses specifically on his hometown of Catford in Lewisham and the toxic air caused by pollution from the nearby South Circular Road, which runs across London.

Emissions from the red route road, one of Britain’s busiest, were ruled to have partially caused the death of nine-year-old Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah in 2013.

Pollution levels in Lewisham are way above the national average with children under nine more than a third more likely to be admitted to hospital with asthma. That figure jumps to an incredible 78 percent for children under 19.

Watch the short music video below

Love Ssega’s video ‘Our World (Fight for Air)’, released April 2021

Love Ssega has a scientific background having studied Chemical Engineering at Cambridge and has a PhD in Laser Spectroscopy, also from Cambridge. JB’s recent Creative Climate Chats series featured Love Ssega and Eli Goldstein, (Soul Clap & DJ’s for Climate Action) which can be rewatched here. The two talk climate action in music and breaking down silos between sectors.

Air Pollution Statistics

Environmental Defense Fund Europe (EDF Europe) are calling on all mayoral candidates to address pollution inequity. Their London-specific research has found:

  • 47,500 children attend state primary schools which are located within 100m of the city’s Red Routes, a network of major roads controlled by the Mayor of London.
  • People near these roads breathing levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) that are 57% higher and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) that are 35% higher than an average road in London.
  • An estimated 4,000 Londoners die prematurely every year as a result of the health impacts of air pollution.
  • Living near busy roads in London may stunt lung growth in children by 12.5% and can increase adult’s risk of coronary heart disease by 6.3%. In some areas of the capital, such as Lambeth, Southwark, Wandsworth and Tower Hamlets, as many as 1 in 5 primary schools are by major roads, where children breathe high pollution levels.
  • Children at primary schools near Red Routes are exposed to 25% higher levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) than primary schools not near Red Routes. Average NOx levels at schools with pupils attending from the most deprived areas were 27% higher than those at schools with pupils attending from the least deprived areas.
  • Schools with the highest percentage of non-white pupils have average NOx levels that are 28% higher than schools with the lowest proportion of students from BAME backgrounds.
  • The Mayor of London’s Red Routes network, managed by Transport for London, accounts for around 5% of London’s roads but carries up to a third of London’s traffic on an average day.