Speaking at the World Health Summit regional meeting on Tuesday morning, Prof. Lynn Atuyambe, the head of researchers conducting air quality monitoring and lung health research in Kampala, said that his team is now specifically looking at air patterns between June and August, whose report they will release in three months.
Air monitors at Makerere University School of Public Health are
registering an improvement in air quality in Kampala just two weeks after President;
Yoweri Museveni announced a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of
The lockdown saw the president banning both private and public
transport with the exception of authorized transport for essential workers. Speaking at the World Health Summit regional meeting on Tuesday
morning, Prof. Lynn Atuyambe, the head of researchers conducting air quality
monitoring and lung health research in Kampala said that his team is now
specifically looking at air patterns between June and August, whose report they
will release in three months.
However, even before concluding their analysis, Prof.
Atuyambe, says that they have already noticed reduced pollution levels reducing.
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In their project, the Eastern Africa Global
Environmental and Occupational Health Hub (GEO Health-Hub), the researchers
started air monitoring in 2018 and released data last year showing stuck
variations in the air quality at different hours of the day.
jogging during these hours, Atuyambe says air pollution is at its peak at 9 am
in the morning and 10 pm in the evening.
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Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha, the head of AirQo
another air monitoring and analysis entity, says that they have started
developing low-cost censors that will include digital platforms to enable
communities to report pollution events since it is highly localized.
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Questioning whether improved air quality in the
previous lockdown last year and what they are starting to see is entirely a
result of traffic flow and emissions from vehicles, Dr. Kenneth Arinaitwe, a
Makerere University-based researcher, said the monitors need to look beyond
He says considering that, some Kampala roads are not paved and
yet the paved ones are not protected from harsh weather; there is a need for analysis
to check whether vaporization of dust does not contribute to high pollution in
He, however, recommends constant monitoring of
vehicles for emissions. Atuyambe says that they do not have the technology in
the country to analyze whether the pollutants are for sure vehicle emissions,
dust, roadside cooking or biomass, which can all be sources of pollution.
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He says they have collaborated with the University
of Colorado to do further analysis but they have not yet received the results.