Citizen Science and Air Pollution Monitoring

This video documents a citizen science approach to air pollution monitoring in Mukuru, an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya.

Air pollution from indoor and outdoor sources remains a major environmental and health issue, and a policy challenge in both developed and developing countries.

The challenge is more acute in urban areas such as Nairobi, Kenya where fine particulate matter, the air pollutant of primary concern for human health, has huge negative impacts on the health of marginalised communities living in informal settlements.

To date, technical assessment of air quality conditions and the effects of pollution on the affected communities and city regions (e.g. informal settlements) in many African countries is limited.

This calls for the need to develop new assessment approaches that have a stronger focus on personal and community exposure to pollutants, and which actively raise awareness of the challenges posed by air pollution to the health of the residents of informal settlements. The research was carried out in Mukuru, an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya, which has several different pollution sources.

The aims of project are to:

  1. perform a pilot study on monitoring of indoor and outdoor particulate matter (PM) levels, using mobile monitors carried around by trained individuals from the local community;
  2. inform the affected public about the risk air pollution poses to their health and options how to overcome these threat, and;
  3. identify the capacity gaps with respect to indoor and outdoor air pollution with specific focus to the environment and health policy communities at the county (Nairobi) and national levels.


This pilot study will provide a basis for developing a more comprehensive and long-term collaborative programme that will contribute to reducing air pollution exposure, and the associated health effects, in informal settlements throughout sub-Saharan Africa.


Credits: Muungano; SEI.
Length: 4:45