Air pollution – largely from industrial sources, motor vehicles, burning biomass and desert dust – kills more Africans than unsafe water, unsafe sanitation or childhood malnutrition, with significant implications for human development. Despite this, air quality monitoring remains inadequate across most of the continent. This highlights the need for significant improvement in the quality and accessibility of innovations such as low-cost sensors and participatory approaches working with the continent’s majority demographic of young people. As one of Africa’s largest cities, innovative approaches effectively implemented in Lagos has the potential to drive significant improvements in population health.
To explore this topic, UrbanBetter in partnership with AirQo, University of Makerere, Uganda; University of Lagos, Nigeria; and the University of Cambridge, UK organised a workshop titled: “Advancing participatory air quality management for urban health: inaugural knowledge sharing and co-creation workshop” at the Arthur Mbanefo Resource Center, University of Lagos Campus on June 2nd, 2022 at 10am.
The workshop was attended by multi-sectoral stakeholders from government, academic, civil society and the private sector. Sharing their diverse expertise, participants at the workshop explored the landscape of air quality management in Lagos, working collaboratively to identify existing activities, actors and datasets on air quality and related health outcomes from the perspectives of research, practice and advocacy.
To consider the potential for deploying participatory approaches and to inform next steps, delegates explored existing gaps in air quality measurement and discussed interest in adopting participatory measurement that facilitates data for action, learning from experiences in East Africa on this approach. Lastly, workshop participants explored opportunities to integrate the health sector and health data as a key part of advocacy for clean air; and the opportunities for partnerships to achieve this goal.
Read the detailed workshop report here.