How Clean Air One Atmosphere is Redefining Clean Air in Africa
To create real, lasting changes—you need the right tools and information.
With it, you can identify the source of the problem, develop solutions, and measure your impact. But these tools aren’t always attainable. Professional-grade air quality monitors cost thousands, which prevents developing countries from recording accurate air quality data.
That’s why Clean Air One Atmosphere (CAOA) is banding together to make air quality data more accessible and improve the air quality in Africa.
We’re always interacting with our PurpleAir Community to see what projects are happening. Together, we’re cultivating a community and empowering members with the data they need to tackle air pollution all over the world.
Because at PurpleAir, we believe in making air quality knowledge accessible to everyone. And we’re not alone in that mission.
Today, we’re excited to highlight Clean Air One Atmosphere (CAOA) and the air quality work they’ve been doing in Africa.
What is the Current State of Air Quality in Africa?
The United Nations reports that air pollution in Africa is one of the leading causes of death on the continent. So much so that it has contributed to 1.1 million deaths yearly, with 60% resulting from poor indoor air quality.
Despite this, there isn’t enough data to show the full extent of air pollution in African communities. This stems from the lack of air quality monitors in Africa as they’re expensive and require technical expertise to operate.
As such, there’s a shortage of air quality data research and policies specific to African communities. In fact, less than 30% of African countries have legislation involving air quality. But CAOA is working to combat air pollution in Africa, and this is how they’re doing it.
What is Clean Air One Atmosphere?
Clean Air One Atmosphere is a non-profit air quality organization that has its origins as a Twitter page in 2017. Back then, Collins Gameli Hodoli realized that there were significant gaps in air quality data and research, as well as educational and communication efforts.
And so, he established CAOA to change this reality.
By prioritizing areas and groups that face resource constraints, CAOA aims to:
- Educate the public on clean air in Africa.
- Undertake air quality projects and advocacies.
- Do in-depth research on air quality.
- Link air quality experts to NGOs and government agencies.
- Help develop and implement clean air policies.
- Serve as an intermediary between the public and organizations to promote air quality programs.
How Clean Air One Atmosphere is Contributing to Clean Air in Africa
In 2018, CAOA launched Yakokoe—the first African mobile application that gained international recognition. Yakokoe connects to the PurpleAir Map and sends hyper-local, real-time air quality data to users. This air quality app also gives timely advice based on the current air quality level.
Through this, CAOA hopes to increase public knowledge and influence positive behavior, so Africans not only protect themselves from air pollution, but also work to mitigate it. Plus, they seek to improve air quality studies as they can provide researchers with the air quality data they collect from their users.
Other than Yakokoe, they have been actively leading air quality programs and events to boost air quality education.
One such initiative is partnering with the Methodist Girls’ High School STEM Club to raise community involvement. Together with the club members, CAOA distributed air quality monitors around the campus and built open-source platforms to make air quality data more accessible to the public. They’re also encouraging the young club members to innovate solutions that contribute to clean air in Africa through their coding and robotics skills.
Recently, CAOA also received a $10,000 seed fund from Clean Air Monitoring and Solutions Network (CAMS-Net) to invest in low-cost air quality monitors. They plan to use this to further study the impact of site-specific agricultural practices on local air quality.
While air quality tools and information aren’t always easily available, that doesn’t mean you have to stop there. The recent advances in air quality technology now allow everyone to build positive changes in their community’s air quality.
If Clean Air One Atmosphere can clean the air in Africa, so can more brands and organizations.
Get Involved Yourself
At PurpleAir, there are tons of community projects going on around the world. We’re thrilled to see these kinds of collaborative efforts, and we look forward to seeing plenty more in the future. Are you working on a community project with PurpleAir’s air quality monitors?
We would love to hear about it. Share a post in the Community Project forum so we can highlight your work. Together, we can make air quality accessible for everyone.