Air Quality Monitor – Kampala


Air quality is of growing importance in urban cities across the world. As urban populations are increasing, the quality of life [air, water, health, transport …] experienced by those living in these areas is of great concern. The urban population in 2014 accounted for 54% of the total global population. This is mainly concentrated in the less developed regions of the world. It is estimated that by 2017, a majority of people will be living in urban areas. The current [2017] population of Kampala city is 1.5m. Data on air quality in and around Kampala is either lacking or not readily available for use by residents and stakeholders such as the city local authorities.  This study aims to collect, curate visualize and disseminate air quality data in and around Kampala.



There are many components of air pollution, both gaseous and solid. But high concentrations of small and fine particulate pollution is particularly associated with high numbers of deaths from respiratory illnesses. Measurement of fine particulate matter of 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter (PM2.5) is considered to be the best indicator of the level of health risks from air pollution.

Data collection

For this study, three types of data will be collected;

  1. Ambient air pollution data.
    • The plan so far is to make use of the current boda-boda [passenger motorcycles] in town that will carry aeroqual portable sensors around the city. As the motorists go about their days work, the aeroqual equipment will periodically capture air quality data.
  2. Geo-referenced record of points/areas that the pollution data is captured.
    • GPS Data will also be captured to help create location aware incidence maps of air quality measure, with time stamps showing intensity during day and night time.
  3. The cost to measure and monitor air quality in a city like Kampala.

Data Processing

Data will be cleaned and geo-coded to afford an interactive map of what the ambient air quality is in and around Kampala, with visualization on how this quality changes by the time of day. We hope to employ some machine learning techniques to inform on air quality trends or to cater for cases of missing data.




Notes: USA EPA Air Quality Index Values for PM10 and PM2.5

PM10, 24hr   AQI EPA Term
mg/m3 mg/m3
0-0.054 0-0.012 0-50 Good
0.055-0.154 0.0121-0.0354 51-100 Moderate
0.155-0.254 0.0355-0.0554 101-150 Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
0.254-0.354 0.0555-0.1504 151-200 Unhealthy
0.355-0.424 0.1505-0.2504 201-300 Very Unhealthy
0.421-0.600 0.2505-0.5004 300-500 Hazardous