Estimates from the World Bank show that the vast majority of people breathing unsafe air are located in middle-income countries, where 5.5 billion people are exposed to hazardous PM2.5 levels. About 64.5% of people in lower-middle-income countries, and 4.4% in low-income countries.

Some of the challenges facing air quality managers in African cities include limited technical capacity, lack of trained personnel and inability to access analytical tools and modeling that can help inform clean air action.

CanAIRy Alert aims to address this challenge by translating and packaging globally available datasets such as NASA’s GEOS-CF forecast, local air quality monitoring data from calibrated low-cost monitors, emissions inventories, and others into decision-relevant and locally accessible tools. Following a successful pilot in Latin America, the tool will be piloted in four African cities: Kigali, Nairobi, Kampala and Accra to enable air quality managers and policy makers to identify key pollution sources and forecast pollution episodes.

The first set of cities participating in CanAIRy Alert include: Accra, Ghana; Kampala, Uganda; Kigali, Rwanda; and Nairobi, Kenya. The project is funded by Clean Air Fund and led by WRI Africa. Partners include NASA, UNEP and African low-cost sensor networks, AirQo and AfriqAir.

CanAIRy Alert builds on the CityAQ: a project piloted in 2020-21 to provide reliable, locally relevant, accessible air quality forecast data and visualizations to resource-constrained cities facing air quality challenges. The first cohort of cities included Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, Mexico; Leon, Mexico; Guanajuato State, Mexico; Nuevo Leon, Mexico and Bogotá, Colombia. Quito, Ecuador and Mexico City, Mexico participated as observers.


Get Involved

WRI is organizing a Community of Practice where air quality managers from Latin America and Africa can meet regularly to learn from each other and global experts on air quality forecasting and source awareness. Please fill out this form to inquire about joining. Technical sessions are recorded and can be viewed on the CityFix platform.


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