New project to tackle air pollution in the most polluted city in West Africa

EarthSense to deploy a network of air quality sensors in Lagos, Nigeria as part of a new project to tackle air pollution in the most polluted city in West Africa. 

EarthSense has so far installed six static air quality sensors, powered by solar panels in areas including a nature reserve, a residential area and an industrial area. 

EnvironQuest will then use the data from these monitors to develop an informed Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP) to reduce the impact of poor air quality on nearby residents. 

Once the pollution levels are recorded and the sources of pollution are detected, this data will be used to identify effective mitigation strategies. 

In a recent study,  the World Bank, who have funded this project, estimated that illness caused by air pollution led to losses of $2.1 billion in 2018, this is about 2.1% of Lagos State’s GDP.

In the same year, air pollution caused 11,200 premature deaths, the highest in West Africa. Children under five were the most affected, accounting for 60% of total deaths while adults suffered from heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The major sources of pollution in Lagos are road transport, industrial emissions, and open burning and illegal dumping of waste. 

EnvironQuest Managing Director, Adebola Odu-Onikosi said: ‘With more deaths caused by air pollution than car accidents, heart diseases, dementia or diabetes, the need for an air quality monitoring network in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized.’

Managing Director of EarthSense Tom Hall added: ‘Understanding the adverse impacts of poor air quality is absolutely vital, and in developing countries with no access to reference sites it can be difficult to understand pollution exposure and the effect it may be having on already vulnerable communities.

‘This data can help to guarantee the quality of life for those living in areas without easily accessible insight into air pollution. We’re looking forward to seeing innovative solutions to poor air quality in Lagos.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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