Night Earth

Banfora, Cascades, Burkina Faso

Banfora is a city located in the southwestern part of Burkina Faso, in the Cascades region. With an estimated population of around 100,000 inhabitants, it is the fourth-largest city in the country. Like many cities, Banfora is subject to light pollution, which can affect the natural environment and human health.

Banfora is a vibrant city with a diverse population, including the Mossi, Samo, and Dioula ethnic groups. The city is known for its natural beauty, including the nearby Karfiguéla Waterfalls and the Cascades de Banfora, which are a series of falls and rapids in the Comoé River. Banfora is also known for its large sugarcane plantations and its production of fruits such as mangos, oranges, and bananas. The city's economy is based on agriculture, with many people working in farming, trade, and commerce.

At night, Banfora is lit up by a range of light sources, including streetlights, car headlights, and illuminated buildings. The city has a high rate of light pollution, with an estimated sky brightness of around 22 magnitudes per square arcsecond. This is due to a combination of factors, including the high density of streetlights, the use of bright lighting fixtures, and the lack of regulations on outdoor lighting.

The primary source of light pollution in Banfora is street lighting. The city has a large number of streetlights that are lit throughout the night, even in areas where there is little pedestrian traffic. These lights are often high-powered and are not shielded, meaning that they can spread light in all directions, including upwards into the sky. The use of unshielded lighting fixtures is a common cause of light pollution in many cities, as it leads to wasted light that is not directed where it is needed.

Another factor contributing to light pollution in Banfora is the use of bright lighting fixtures. Many buildings in the city are lit up with bright floodlights or other high-powered lighting fixtures that are designed to highlight the building's architecture or signage. While these lights may be visually appealing, they can also contribute to light pollution, as they can be seen from long distances and can interfere with the natural darkness of the night sky.

Finally, the lack of regulations on outdoor lighting is also a major contributor to light pollution in Banfora. There are no laws or regulations that limit the use of outdoor lighting or require the use of shielded lighting fixtures. As a result, many businesses and individuals are free to install and use lighting fixtures as they see fit, leading to a wide range of lighting practices that can contribute to light pollution.

The effects of light pollution in Banfora can be significant. High levels of light pollution can disrupt the natural cycles of many animals, including birds, insects, and mammals. It can also affect the sleep and health of humans, leading to a range of health problems, including insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Finally, light pollution can also affect the quality of the night sky, making it difficult to see stars and other celestial objects.

Banfora is a beautiful city with a rich cultural heritage and a vibrant economy. However, like many cities, it is subject to the negative effects of light pollution. The high levels of light pollution in Banfora are primarily due to the use of unshielded lighting fixtures, the lack of regulations on outdoor lighting, and the high density of streetlights. These factors can have a range of negative effects on the environment and human health, making it important for the city to take steps to reduce light pollution and promote more sustainable lighting practices.