A nine-year-old girl who died from chronic asthma brought on by polluted air in Lewisham has been remembered at a vigil.
In February 2013, Ella Kissi-Debrah, who lived in Lewisham just 25 meters from the South Circular Road, passed away after suffering dozens of acute seizures over three years.
As a result of a second inquest in December last year, she became the first person in the UK to have air pollution listed on her death certificate.
On Sunday, a vigil was held for Ella on the eve of what would have been her 18th birthday.
Around 50 mourners held candles at Mountsfield Park in south London as a choir sang hymns.
Janet Daby, local MP, addressed the crowd praising Rosamund, Ella\’s mother, who has become an advocate for clean air. She was praised for being a “force to be reckoned with”.
“She is a passionate woman who knows her subject so well and fights for justice”, Ms Daby added.
Ms Kissi-Debrah told the crowd that she would continue to fight “as long as children continue to die”.
“What do I want? I want clean air to become a human right,” she said.
After Ella’s death, a coroner’s report ruled that excessive air pollution contributed to her death. The coroner called for legally binding pollutants goals in line with WHO guidelines.
Ms Kissi-Debrah said, “It has been nine months, and the coroner’s recommendations still haven’t been implemented”, she said.
“We know that Sadiq Khan has rolled out the ULEZ, but from the Government- where are the coroner’s recommendations?”