Kampala ranked one of the most polluted cities in the world
According to the 2021 World Air Quality report, Kampala capital city was ranked among the most polluted cities with the pollution levels exceeding the World Health Organization cut offs by 5-7 times.
On May 3, the National Environment Management Authority, Kampala Capital City Authority and AirQoin collaboration with the US. Mission and other partners have joined the world to commemorate the 16th Annual Air Quality Awareness week under the theme “Be Air Aware and Prepared”
In his speech, the Executive Director NEMA BarirengaAkankwasah highlighted that Air quality is an issue that we as a country should give due importance because the consequences are dire and also projected itworsen if no deliberate interventions are implemented.
“About 7 million people die of air pollution every year including the 4.2million that die from outdoor air pollution and the 3.8 million that die from indoor air pollution according to the World Health Organization reports” he added
According to the latest information from the Air Quality Monitoring Network, the last 7 months in all the divisions of Kampala were 5 times higher than the WHO guideline for ambient Air Quality causing the daily air quality levels largely within the moderate and unhealthy zones.
The information also highlighted that the main sources of air pollution being dust from unpaved roads, domestic solid biomass energy use, and exhaust and non-exhaust emissions from vehicles, industrial emissions and open burning of solid waste.
Lately, the government of Uganda has addressed these challenges by providing real time air quality data, developing air quality standards for various sources, tracking city roads, and promoting and implementing green mobility alternatives.
The public was also cautioned to plant more trees, use cleaner fuels, ensuring proper ventilation, servicing of vehicles and boda bodas regularly plus the proper disposal of garbage.
In his speech, the representative from KCCA said that through the Kampala Capital City Clean Air Action Plan that was established to guide all air pollution control efforts they have managed to deploy additional monitors to improve monitoring where its non- existent, deploying infrastructure to monitor parameters that are not currently supported, sharing air quality data via apps and websites, targeting community awareness for advocacy, promoting efficient waste management initiatives amongst others.
“I call upon you to act appropriately, in order to improve the quality of air that we breathe this is every ones responsibility” he added.
Engineer Bainomugisha who represented AirQo said that to improve the air quality, they will be planting 150 trees donated by tree adoption Uganda and they called upon the public to join them in planting at least one tree and also commit to nurturing it.
AirQo is a data driven foundation build to tackle air pollution and other challenges affecting Uganda with an expertise in developing smart air quality monitors that enable to quantify the magnitude and scale of air pollution across the country.