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Air Quality Monitors installed in Addis Ababa

ADDIS ABABA – Several ground-based air quality monitors and the preparation for integration with satellite-based measurements of air pollution were installed in Addis Ababa.

The installation was marked during an Earth Day celebration involving the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society and the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa on Thursday.

Officials from Society and the embassy celebrated the day by initiating the next phase of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration or NASA’s MAIA program in Ethiopia.

Chargé d’Affaires Ambassador Jacobson urged cooperation to combat climate change saying, “No country alone can solve the problems facing our planet.”

“Working together is the only way to advance our environmental priorities and solve the global problems we face,” she added.

Ambassador Jacobson, representatives from the EWNHS, Addis Ababa University, and the Ethiopian Environmental Protection Agency. [Photo US embassy]

When fully operational, NASA’s Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols or MAIA mission will produce daily maps of particulate matter (PM).

The mission will investigate how air pollution affects human health in at least 10 globally distributed Primary Target Areas (PTAs), including Addis Ababa.

“MAIA data products will enable scientists to explore the effects of mixtures of PM pollution on health outcomes, including those associated with prenatal and early childhood exposure to PM pollution,” said the US embassy.

As part of the MAIA project, air quality monitors have been installed at the U.S. Embassy, an Embassy warehouse, and Addis Ababa University.

These monitors will provide verification of the data collected by the satellite, says the embassy.

In addition, the monitors will provide more detailed information on PM pollution in Addis Ababa than has been available previously, allowing for more precise identification of pollution types and sources.

Poor air quality has a significant direct impact on the health of those living in the capital.

Particulate matter concentrations in Addis Ababa are two to three times higher than the standards set by both Ethiopia and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Five percent (5%) of all deaths in Ethiopia are linked to breathing PM pollution, estimates show.