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Nairobi City Government to Spearhead Groundbreaking Air Quality Initiative: Breathe Nairobi Strategy Set to Revolutionize Air Monitoring and Regulation

Nairobi, 27th April 2024

Nairobi City County Government will soon establish City owned air quality data management system with an open public data access portal alongside air quality monitoring network to help reduce air pollution and safeguard public health, making it a pioneering initiative in the country and the region.

This comes after a successful validation meeting that endorsed the Breathe Nairobi Strategy paving way for its implementation in the City County.

Breathe Nairobi Strategy highlights ambitious priorities for breathe Nairobi project and how it will be implemented. Priority areas includes equipping the City with its own air quality monitoring network and air quality management system, development  and enactment of Nairobi Air Quality regulations, capacity building trainings, procurement and deployment of comprehensive low cost sensor Air Quality monitoring network and data and research among others.
Breathnrb 2Addressing the meeting, Nairobi City County Executive Committee Member for Green Nairobi Mr. Ibrahim Auma said that the adverse impacts of air pollution on health, environment, society   and economy could not be overstated, thus necessitating a well thought out plan to address air pollution.

“Breathe Nairobi initiative stands as a unique and timely project, positioning the City County Government as a leader in its implementation. We believe this initiative will have a profound impact on enhancing the air quality in our city. It underscores our conviction that placing Nairobi at the forefront of implementation is a more sustainable approach to combating air pollution.” Stated Mr. Auma.

The Green Nairobi Executive said the county is dedicated to engaging robustly with the community and residents to enhance air quality. He added that Governor Sakaja’s administration is committed to developing and enacting Air Quality regulations and adopting on Air Quality Action Plan.

According to the County Executive, the establishment of Air Quality Regulations and a cabinet approved Air Quality Plan will lay the foundation for sustainable Air Quality programmes. He pointed out that such frameworks will ensure that County endeavors to improve air quality are integrated into the city’s structures and financial systems, ensuring long-term sustainability.

Mr. Auma expressed his gratitude to World Resources Institute, UNEP, Stockholm Environment Institute -Africa, Environmental Compliance Institute, Clean Air Fund, C40 Cities, Bloomberg Philanthropies among other partners for the instrumental role they have played in supporting the county towards improving air quality.
Breathnrb 10Dr. Victor Indasi, Breathe Cities Lead- Kenya, applauded the county for making a huge progress towards addressing air pollution by enacting Air quality Act 2022, deploying Climate Change and Air Quality monitoring staff up to the ward level as well as setting up an ambitious goal of reducing emissions by 51% by 2025.

Dr. Indasi mentioned that Breathe Nairobi project is a 2 year project that will run from June 2024 to June 2026. “In two years’ time Nairobi will have about 200 air sensors operated by its own staff.” He added.

Nairobi County Deputy Director for Climate Change and Air Quality monitoring Mr. Maurice Kavai called on all partners to work together in order to impact communities. He said Nairobi County will work closely with partners and stakeholders until the end of the Breathe Nairobi project.

Dr. George Mwaniki, Head of Air Quality-World Resources Institute(WRI) Africa, noted that a lot needs to be done in creating awareness and sensitizing Nairobians on clean air cooking methods, handling transport and waste management in order to reduce on air pollutant emissions and risk of household  pollution and smoke related diseases.

In her remarks, Ms. Selelah Okoth from NEMA said there has been up scaled commitment by National and County Governments in making advancements towards achieving clean air. She informed the meeting that soon emission testing will begin in Kenya in a bid to make sure air quality meets standards required.

Attending the meeting were representatives from World Resources Institute, National Environment Management Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards, academia, Nairobi City County Assembly and Nairobi City County Staff drawn from Green Nairobi, Transport, Disaster Management and ICT among others.

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