Rwanda to launch real-time air quality app on International Day of Clean Air for blue skies

Rwanda is joining the world to mark the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies on 7 September 2021 with a virtual celebration, vehicle and industry emissions inspections and the launch of the Rwanda Air Quality Monitoring System, which provides access to real-time air quality information through a new website and mobile application. 

The Rwanda Air Quality Monitoring System provides data on the quality of the air at 23 sites across the country. The 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 Massachusetts Institute of Technology and implemented by Rwanda Environment Management Authority and the Ministry of Education.

The system provides a real-time Air Quality Index (AQI) for each station in both numerical and color code format. The system highlights the dominant air pollutant responsible for air quality degradation during the reported period for each station. 

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. It will also help Rwanda to compare ground observations with satellite data through remote sensing technology to verify their accuracy.

“We are all responsible for the quality of the air we breathe. Rwanda’s new 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. This new tool will help us to measure and boost the impact of the interventions we have introduced to reduce air pollution and ensure blue skies for all,” said Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Minister of Environment.

As part of celebrations marking the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies, Rwanda is also conducting vehicle and industry emissions inspections in the City of Kigali and Rwamagana District on 5-6 September 2021. The inspections will include mobile vehicle emissions testing in high traffic areas in the City of Kigali as well as ambient air quality monitoring and multi-pollutant analysis of industry emissions in Rwamagana District. 

A public virtual celebration will be hosted by the Rwanda Environment Management Authority on 7 September 2021 and feature presentations from scientists and school students researching air quality in Rwanda as well as effective responses to pollution. It will also include a panel discussion with representatives from government, academia and the private sector to discuss how Rwanda can continue to beat air pollution and improve the quality of the air we breathe. 

This year, the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies is celebrated under the theme “Healthy Air, Healthy Planet.” For more information, visit www.cleanairblueskies.org

Air Quality Monitoring System

International Day of Clean Air for blue skies Activities in Rwanda

  • 5-6 September: Joint mobile vehicle emissions testing in high traffic areas in the City of Kigali with the Ministry of Environment, Rwanda Environment Management Authority, Rwanda National Police, City of Kigali, Rwanda Standards Board and the Private Sector Federation.

  • 6 September: Ambient air quality monitoring and multi-pollutant analysis of industry emissions in Rwamagana District and Media Tour of University of Rwanda air quality monitoring laboratory, 

  • 7 September: Virtual Celebration of the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies. Join the discussion at 10am via www.bit.ly/CleanAirDay_RW