Taking forward the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) resolution: Pilot to determine the air quality drivers for Sub-Saharan Africa

Lead Research Organisation: NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Department Name: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects

Abstract

This pilot project, AQD-Nairobi, is designed to integrate low and high temporal resolution low-cost air quality (AQ) measurements to determine AQ drivers in Nairobi and be an exemplar scientific study for sub-Saharan Africa. This collaboration is a new partnership between NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), the Stockholm Environment Institute Africa (SEI Africa) and SEI York. SEI Africa is the secretariat for the Air Quality Network for Kenya, whose membership includes National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI), Kenya Meteorology Department (KMD), the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), UNEP, the Nairobi County Government and the Muungano. Muunagano is a local community organisation supporting urban dwellers in Nairobi's informal settlements, and is the Kenyan branch of Slum Dwellers International.

The inception of the project came through an informal loan from CEH of equipment to a SEI York pilot project in 2015 exploring novel methods of understanding community exposure to air pollution in a Nairobi informal settlement, which was co-ordinated by SEI Africa. The work established the urgent need for chemically resolved air pollution exposure studies to be integrated with more indicative methods. NERC CEH NC and other projects have developed low cost AQ monitoring methods. In particular CEH has developed the science behind two low-cost low-time resolution methods: the active low flow sampling method, DEnuder for Long-Term Atmospheric sampling (DELTA) for measurement of inorganic trace gases and speciated aerosols, and a passive sampler method (ALPHAS) measuring ammonia. Both methods have been applied in networks across the UK and Europe.

Poor AQ is estimated to account for 5.5 million premature deaths annually both from indoor and outdoor pollution. In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly (UNEA) adopted a resolution for AQ which would encourage governments to set standards and policies across sectors to manage the negative impacts of air pollution. Nairobi, Kenya, is a city with poor AQ which frequently exceeds limits for particulate matter (PM) set out by the World Health Organisation. Information on the chemically specific drivers of the poor AQ in Nairobi are poorly understood.

AQD-Nairobi will assess the applicability of integrating low cost-low temporal resolution monitoring with mobile PM sensors to develop air AQ indicators. The experimental component of the project will be a 12 month deployment of monthly resolution PM composition measurements with DELTA samplers at the KMD meteorological station and an intensive citizen science pilot study in Mukuru, an informal settlement in Nairobi. The intensive work will be organised logistically by SEI York and delivered on the ground by SEI Africa and the Muungano. Community champion volunteers will carry the mobile PM backpacks and simultaneously a network of passive samplers will be deployed across Mukuru. Using citizen science communication techniques, simple maps and AQ driver metrics will be disseminated to the Muungano and the Air Quality Network for Kenya stakeholders. Data interpretation and visualisation will be used to deliver information to both individuals and policy-making stakeholders.

If successful, this pilot will deliver an excellent approach for assessing AQ drivers at reasonable economic cost for urban communities. This "proof of concept' international partnership, applying mixed technologies is an essential first step to enable development of large-scale long-term partnerships for NERC in this area. AQD-Nairobi will deliver new science that cannot be achieved by UK communities alone or by existing international collaborations.

Planned Impact

The AQD-Nairobi partnership will provide rapid and direct insight into the air quality drivers in informal settlements in Nairobi. This study is targeted at engaging local Nairobi based multilateral stakeholders in Kenya as primary beneficiaries. There is currently no coherent research mechanism that addresses the threats of poor air quality (AQ) in the urban environment as experienced by informal settlements, despite the fact that there is a significant population impacted. The benefits of integrating on-line and off line AQ measurement approaches in a simple, practical way, could advance enormously the power of local people to check the processes affecting their local environment and local planning responses to the air quality threats.

National Kenyan impact: The outcome of this project will provide information on the suitability of low cost sensors and citizen science approaches to examine air quality drivers in informal settlements in East Africa. In Nairobi, this will benefit local stakeholders such as Muungano and the Air Quality Network of Kenya, to provide further understanding of the poor air quality within informal settlements.

International impact: The Muungano is part of the The Slum Dwellers International (SDI) network which has disseminated successfully pilots. Previous pilots under the SDI have led to knowledge being shared globally and changes in conditions occurring for hundreds of thousands of people (http://sdinet.org/2015/12/a-lesson-for-all-orangi-pilot-project-visits-tanzania-federation/). Together with Muungano, Dr Twigg and the project partners will to examine air quality drivers in the informal settlement in Nairobi and focus outcomes into building links internationally to support more joined-up management of the urban atmosphere in areas where there are limited local powers of engagement.

Engagement with other key international organizations such UNEP and WMO-GAW, will lead to a slower but no less important impact by disseminating both data and methodology. This process will be supported through project partner activities within the Air Quality Network of Kenya and other research activities of NERC CEH staff. A key impact will be achieved if the methodology for making small project data such as this, simply accessible locally and globally.

UK impact: Key UK national beneficiaries will be the UK scientific community, specifically the atmospheric composition and air quality researchers, as this study will focus future efforts related to integrated urban measurements in informal settlements, which can feed through to urban modelling. In addition, the UK community will gain information on low cost sensor approaches under different climate conditions.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description 1. The use of passive samplers and active samplers can be used as a low cost method to determine air quality drivers in sub-Saharan Africa. The methods could be successfully applied as a low cost method to monitor air quality.

2. The results were the first ever NH3 concentrations recorded within an informal settlement in sub-saharan Africa. The concentrations were elevated and can be used as indicator of waste management within the informal settlement.
Exploitation Route The data maybe used by the Nairobi County Council to aid them in developing the Mukuru informal settlement as it has been selected by the council as a special planning area.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice

 
Description Participation in the Kenyan Air Quality Network Meetings
Geographic Reach Africa 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description UK-Kenya Joint Partnership on Non-Communicable Diseases
Amount £553,000 (GBP)
Funding ID MR/S009027/1 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 12/2021
 
Title Development of new questionnaire and time activity diary for project 
Description Time activity diary for improving modelling of indoor and outdoor air quality. This is a two-part questionnaire that will be completed by community champions - the first part, developed by S. West and C. Malley, adapted from a questionnaire developed by the World Bank, called "Indoor AIr pollution district survey questionnaire" - Malley has used this in the past to validate the INDAIR model (of indoor air pollution) for developing countries. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact No known impacts. 
 
Title Ammonia air quality measurements in Mukuru, Nairobi. 
Description This dataset contains NH3 air quality data measurements taken in from Mukuru in Nairobi using passive samplers. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The impact is still to be realised as it has only recently been published. 
URL https://catalogue.ceda.ac.uk/uuid/6a5dd6e317274d1fac1ebc196d94a9dd
 
Title Nitrogen dioxide air quality measurements in Mukuru, Nairobi, Kenya. 
Description This dataset contains No2 air quality data measurements taken in from Mukuru in Nairobi using passive samplers. T 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact None available yet. 
URL https://catalogue.ceda.ac.uk/uuid/6d73dc9c4a3f45008b57ed19fe74b07d
 
Description In Kind work by Stockholm Environment Institute Africa Centre, Nairobi, Kenya 
Organisation Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
Department Stockholm Environment Institute Africa Centre
PI Contribution We trained a member of staff from Nairobi based at the Stockholm Environment Institute Africa centre at the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, UK on low cost methods for air quality, with travel and subsistence paid from the project. NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology provided the Stockholm Environment Institute Africa Centre with equipment for the air quality work that is to be carried out in Nairobi.
Collaborator Contribution The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) Africa Centre has led the engagement with Mukuru (an informal settlement in Nairobi) and the deployment of the measurement samplers for air quality within Nairobi. In August 2017 SEI Africa Centre ran a workshop in Mukuru for citizen champions from the settlement to train them on personal exposure equipment.
Impact Project presented at the Annual Kenyan Air Quality Network Meeting in December 2017.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Poster at 2018 joint 14th ICACGP Quadrennial Symposium and 15th IGAC Science Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Poster titled: Using citizen science approach to assess personal exposure to air pollution in a low income neighborhood: The case of Nairobi. Authors: William Apondo, Cassilde Muhoza, Sarah West, Marsailidh Twigg, Patrick Bueker, Patrick Njoroge.

Purpose: To raise awareness of the measurements undertaken in Nairobi, Kenya.

Abstract: Air pollution is a major environmental and health challenge globally. The primary pollutant of concern for human health is fine particulate matter (PM). It is estimated that
PM pollution is associated with 670,000 premature deaths annually in Africa, divided roughly equally between indoor and outdoor exposures (Forouzanfar et al., 2015).
Scientific studies on environment in general and air pollution in particular rarely inform policy in developing countries, especially in Africa. Similarly, many studies on air pollution
do not engage with local communities, both of which are necessary for research to inform policy action and promote citizen awareness. Our study was designed to deal with both of
these challenges by creating a research-policy platform.
This study presents findings from a personal exposure assessment campaign conducted for a period eight weeks in a low income settlement in Nairobi. We use a citizen science
approach working with trained local members of the community to collect data on PM pollution from indoor and outdoor sources using portable particle counter (The Dylos
DC1700) while at the same time keeping a detailed journal of daily activity diary. We also present how our study engaged local communities to create awareness on the challenges
of pollution, and how we have engaged with policy makers at the city and national level to inform policy actions and decisions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.igacproject.org
 
Description Project web page on Stockholm Environment Institute website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A webpage was set up to make people both professional and general public aware of the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.sei-international.org/projects?prid=2273
 
Description Report in national paper (Daily Nation) in Kenya 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A journalist who attended the end of project workshop written an article in the Daily Nation in Kenya titled ' Nairobi moves to tackle air pollution', published on the 1st January 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Webpage on the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A webpage was set-up on the CEH webpage to inform people of the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.ceh.ac.uk/our-science/projects/determining-air-quality-drivers-sub-saharan-africa
 
Description Workshop for community champions in project 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Training workshop for the citizen scientists from Mukuru taking part in the project: A total of 14 champions of different professions (including community health workers, teachers, street vendors, artists, community mobilisers, and garbage collectors) from three settlements of Viwandani, Mukuru kwa Reuben and Mukuru Kwa Njenga were selected to be involved in the project and participated in the training on 8th October 2017 done by project staff from SEI and Muungano Wa Wanavijiji/Slum Dwellers International. The champions are to conduct the PM monitoring during the dry season in January and February 2018. The training covered how to use the Dylos PM portable sensors (including how to turn them on, download data, and change batteries), how to operate the Canmore GPS Tracker Stick Data Logger, and the content and how to fill the daily activity diaries that the champions are expected to complete on a daily basis to document their movements so as to enable project team to match the levels of pollution recorded by the Dylos with the activities that the champions are involved in.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Workshop on Air Quality Driver and Policy coherence and actions to address air pollution and human health in urban areas 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The main objective of the workshop is to present the results and findings from the project and bring together stakeholders and representatives from the National and County Governments, NGOs, private sector, Universities and international organizations working on air quality in Kenya. The workshop also included discussion on moving research findings to policy actions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018