A New System for Communicating Air Quality is Now Here
As of today, Kosovo citizens will be able to access accurate, real-time air quality data, refer to health recommendations, as well as get information on air quality forecasts so that they can plan activities and routes around current air quality conditions.
Air Quality Data will be available through the official Air Quality Portal, Mobile AQ Application, official webpage of the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and the Kosovo Hydro-Meteorological Institute (KHMI), online media, TV stations and radios. All of these tools have been developed with the aim of communicating and visualizing air quality in a free, accessible, and understandable way.
Both the Air Quality Portal and the Mobile App enable citizens to access real-time data on air quality provided by 12 air quality monitoring stations placed throughout Kosovo. This new informative system helps a wide range of users such as media, civil society, and private sector to access accurate and reliable air quality data and also encourages them to cooperate closely with the institutions by analyzing this information and undertaking measures towards improving air quality.
Sarah Olmstead, MCC Country Director for Kosovo, expressed her concern about poor air quality and its negative impact on health, especially of those suffering from asthma. “We have supported the Ministry of Economy and Environment to upgrade the air quality monitoring stations and publish data in a way that enables actionable policy analysis, both for city planning and health planning. This data should also support the public to take informed action and advocate for their own health and wellbeing”, Mrs. Olmstead pointed out.
“NIPH experts have been highly involved in focus groups, trainings, and in the drafting of all of the documents and educational materials which will be disseminated through Kosovo, as part of the Air Quality Project. A clear and accurate communication of air quality and pollution sources, are key to citizens’ health. Therefore, our efforts are focused on raising awareness on health risks that poor air quality brings, as well as changing behavior in accordance to air quality conditions” stated Naser Ramadani, the Executive Director of NIPH.
Petrit Selimi, MFK CEO, pointed out that this investment in both of the institutions, NIPH and KHMI, helps bridge a gap for a sustainable communication system and a reliable source of information which helps identify solutions towards improved air quality.
Air Quality Brochures, Air Quality Factsheets for Sensitive Groups (including Children, Pregnant Women, People with Chronic Diseases and the Elderly), and the Air Quality Poster are some of the materials created through the project with the aim of informing the general public on the relationship between air pollution and health.
The Air Quality Project, supported by the Millennium Foundation Kosovo (MFK), aims to help the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and the Kosovo Hydro-Meteorological Institute (KHMI) collect and disseminate information on air quality while improving the public availability and analytical use of environmental data by businesses, the Government, Civil Society, and NGOs, thus promoting data-driven decision-making.
Environmental Data Collection is an activity implemented by Millennium Foundation Kosovo, an accountable entity responsible for implementation of the $49 million Threshold agreement signed by the Republic of Kosovo and Millennium Challenge Corporation in 2017. MFK’s mission statement calls for accelerating Kosovo’s transition to energy independence and good governance. Kosovo Threshold Program addresses two key constraints to Kosovo’s economic growth: an unreliable supply of electricity; and real and perceived weakness in rule of law, government accountability and transparency.
Photo: Armend Nimani