Why are we interested in air quality monitoring?
- Many cities in low-income countries do not currently do regular monitoring of the pollution, or research into its causes, and its associated disease burden.
- According WHO Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database, 2016, 98% of cities in low- and middle-income countries with more than 100,000 inhabitants do not meet WHO air quality guidelines.
- Air pollution is more deadly in Africa than malnutrition or dirty water. Air pollution in Africa kills 712,000 people a year prematurely, compared with approximately 542,000 from unsafe water, 275,000 from malnutrition and 391,000 from unsafe sanitation (OECD Development Centre, 2016).
The ambition of this project is to develop and deploy a network of low-cost air quality sensing devices mounted on either selected static locations or on boda-bodas (motorcycle taxis) to produce a detailed and near real-time map of air pollution. This will provide insights into the sources and scale of air pollution in Kampala, Uganda.
We aim to:
- Make urban citizens aware about air pollution problem, its associated health risks and strategies to minimize exposure
- Develop low-cost tools and methods that can be used by city authorities to do regular monitoring of air pollution in urban areas
- Generate new knowledge about the linkage between air pollution and respiratory diseases
- Create new knowledge about the sources and the magnitude of air pollution in Kampala
- Influence policy using evidence-based knowledge so as to better regulate, contain, reduce and manage air pollution in Kampala
What are we measuring?
We aim to to cover a range of major health damaging pollutants including:
- Particulate matter (PM2.5 & PM10)
- Gases (Carbon monoxide (CO), Sulfur oxides (SO2), Nitrogen oxides (NOx) and a wide range of volatile organic compounds, which react with sunlight to form Ozone (O3).
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the USA has been identified these as the major pollutants that pose the greatest risk to human health.