Air Quality Monitoring
Jinja is an industrial town, we have over 70 industries,” Ernest Nabihamba, the senior Environment Officer Jinja City said. “Every day, you will see billows of smoke in the air in our city,” According to Nabihamba, Jinja has a population of over 300,000 people and only 10% is involved in agriculture the rest of the population is involved in formal and informal trade. “Most people work in the industries.”
As a tourist destination city, home to the source of river Nile, the longest river in Africa, tourists throng what’s touted as the adrenaline capital to get their fix of kayaking and white-water rafting. However, this once beautiful city is choking under the fumes of industrialization.
Agro-processing and manufacturing industries like wood industry, soap factory, mining and quarrying, leather industry, construction industries as well as road construction activities have made Jinja their home employing thousands of residents. However, this industrialization comes with the unseen danger of air pollution.
“Air pollution is threatening the health of our residents,” Nabihamba said “The industries emit smoke polluting the air. We receive complaints from the residents regularly over the foul smell in the air and poor waste management,” An even bigger danger is that the city does not have the capacity to detect the levels of air pollution. “We do not have the ability to know the levels of air pollution. We work on the assumption that the air is polluted, and therefore cannot put the industries to the task.”