The mum of Ella Kissi-Debrah whose death has been linked to air pollution has said she wants more people to be outraged about the issue of clean air.

Rosamund Kissi-Debrah addressed an audience at the ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ discussion organised by the Clean Air for Catford group to talk about her daughter's battle with asthma.

The mum-of-three and former teacher said: “I don’t want a certain section of people to be outraged; I want everybody to be outraged because then politicians will listen.”

The first inquest into nine-year-old Ella’s death found she had died of “acute respiratory failure” – but after new evidence linked spikes in air pollution on the south circular where the schoolgirl lived with her hospital admissions, the High Court granted a new inquest.

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Rosamund's daughter, Ella, died after suffering a severe asthma attack

Speaking on Clean Air Day 2019 at the Corbett Community Library in Hither Green, Ms Kissi-Debrah said: “My daughter was almost seven when she became ill. Until then, she was an extremely healthy child.

“Then she was chronically ill. She was almost disabled, and during her short life we never got to the bottom of what was going on.”

After tireless campaigning for air pollution awareness, Ms Kissi-Debrah said she is furious to see new schools and houses being built in pollution hotspots and wants local authorities and the government to take responsibility for people’s health.

She told the audience: “Please don’t believe you are powerless. We are all being told we can’t do this and we have let [politicians] off the hook."

Speaking to News Shopper, Ms Kissi-Debrah added: “Children continue to die. We need to be positive and yes there are solutions but there are also so many excuses.”

Ted Burke, founder of Clean Air for Catford and father-of-two told News Shopper he is concerned for the health of his kids.

“In rush hour you have traffic queued up all the way from the south circular and I have to walk my kids through that in the morning,” he said.

An asthma sufferer himself, Mr Burke said he felt his symptoms can sometimes feel worse when pollution levels are high.

Mr Burke, who works for environmental charity Friends of the Earth, founded the action group two years ago after organising a few Hither Green residents to monitor air pollution levels in the area.

“We found that there were several hotspots nearby that had dangerously high levels of air pollution: near schools and doctor’s surgeries – all places where vulnerable people are,” he explained.

News Shopper:

Residents were asked to share their concerns about air pollution and come up with solutions to reduce pollution levels in the area.

“We want people to be aware and to be conscious of what they’re doing and how they can change their own behaviour.

“We also want to work with teachers and parent/teacher associations the council to see what more they can do

“Everyone has to take action.”