Friday, June 9, 2023
SocietyAddis to institute air quality management system

Addis to institute air quality management system

  • Joins megacity air quality project by the US

Visiting Addis Ababa this week, Sara Terry, senior policy advisor to the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards under the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has brought her team to initiate the work of air quality management system in the capital.

Speaking to The Reporter on Friday, Terry said that within the coming two years Addis Ababa is expected to devise a policy to institutionalize air quality management system under the city’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

Currently, the appearance of clear and blue skies over Addis Ababa covers an inconvenient truth, as daily air-quality monitoring by the US Embassy reveals a moderately polluted atmosphere which might potentially affect people sensitive to particle pollution.

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According to Terry, air pollution in many instances cause health complications, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory problems and the like are some of the health challenges short-lived air pollution causes.

It is to be recalled that back in November, The Reporter has reported that based on the US embassy’s air quality monitoring data was gathered at two sites. One at the embassy and the other at International Community School (ICS), to collect air quality index (AQI). The AQI readings from the US system back then showed a reading ranging between 61 and 65.

The readings translated into Addis being moderately polluted, as the index for moderate pollution ranges from 51 to 100 and a good air quality should range between zero and 50, according to AQI. But for a clearer measurement of air quality, the World Bank Group and others use, describes air quality in terms of micro grams per cubic meters (µg/m3). According to this measurement, the countrywide score stood at 36, which according to Terry, is very unhealthy compared to US standards of 12 units of air pollution (µg/m3).

Based on the reasons that air pollution is increasingly becoming a global concern, a project called Megacity Partnership Project, has been launched to help African cities learn and adopt best practices from the US and around the world.

For the past two years, Accra, Ghana, has been participating in the project where in addition to daily monitoring of air quality and management, they are devising a mechanism which helps to invest in suitable air quality control technologies. EPA’s Megacity Partnership Project also stretches to San Diego.

Currently, it has included Addis Ababa to join the initiative, Terry said.  

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