December 6, 2022

AIMS LAUNCHES KIGALI CITY FRAMEWORK FOR NOISE AND AIR QUALITY MONITORING CAMPAIGN

The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), in partnership with Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), have today launched the Kigali City Framework for Noise and Air Quality Monitoring Campaign.

In many low and middle-income countries particularly Sub-Saharan, data on air pollution is scarce, thus limiting policy planning and implementation. The campaign launched today aims to monitor the level of noise and air pollution in the City of Kigali to inform the decision of policymakers on matters related to air and noise pollution.

The Kigali city monitoring campaign will provide a comprehensive environmental dataset of high spatial and temporal resolution for noise and air pollution. The data will therefore be utilized to improve understanding of sources and distribution of environmental stressors across the City of Kigali and provide a resource for future application in areas such as health studies, planning advice, public engagement, and enforcement.

AIMS researchers together with REMA, will develop mathematical models for air pollution forecasting that estimate air pollution across Kigali City to map the existing real data with the satellite, and using the predictive models, bridge gap. 

“To monitor the level of air and noise pollution, 13 sensors will be installed across Kigali to provide real-time data on the level of pollution and more sensors are going to be shipped in January 2023. AIMS will install 9 fixed sensors, but also there will be 135 rotational sites. The sites have been carefully selected by AIMS, REMA and Rwanda Meteorology Agency by involving University of Massachusetts Amherst and University of Ghana. One sensor has already been installed at AIMS” said Wilfred Ndifon, the Chief Scientific Officer At AIMS Global Secretariat.

“Air quality monitoring and air pollution control is among REMA’s priority in protecting the environment. We are all responsible for the quality of the air we breathe. Rwanda’s air quality monitoring system gives us the information we need to address air pollution, and provides information to citizens about the status of the air where they live and work. Though a lot has been done, the air quality monitoring equipment we have is not enough for a high spatial coverage. With the additional 13 sensors we will be able to have high spatial resolution  data that leads us in decision making. This new campaign will help us to measure and boost the impact of the interventions we have introduced to reduce air and noise pollution to ensure a better life for all” said Juliet Kabera, Director General, Rwanda Environment Management Authority

Rwanda has developed a countrywide Air Quality Monitoring System which provides data on the quality of the air in 23 sites across Rwanda.

The Air Quality Monitoring System was developed through the Air Quality and Climate Change Monitoring Project, which has been funded by the Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA). It was designed in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and implemented by the Rwanda Environment Management Authority and the Ministry of Education.

The system provides real-time Air Quality Index (AQI) for each station in both numerical and colour code format. The system highlights the dominant air pollutant which is responsible for air quality degradation during the reported period for each station. It will help Rwanda to compare ground observation data with satellite data through remote sensing technology to verify their accuracy. 

The system strengthens Rwanda’s existing field-installed air quality monitoring network by providing online access to pollution readings from each station as well as data management including data sharing mechanisms.

According to the results of a recent study, Rwanda is being affected by all major pollutants. The research shows that vehicle emissions are the leading source of air pollution in Kigali. Other contributors to poor air quality in Rwanda include the industrial sector, charcoal cookstoves and agricultural waste burning.

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