Eight Municipalities in Kosovo to Host Air Quality Info Days, Raising Awareness on the Threats of Air Pollution
Starting today, we will be hosting Air Quality Info Days together with the National Institute for Public Health (NIPH), Kosovo Hydrometeorological Institute (KHMI), and Kosova Environmental Protection Agency (KEPA). These sessions will inform the public about health risks associated with air pollution and measures that they should take to protect themselves, both by changing their behavior and making an effort to reduce the level of air pollution. Specifically, the citizens will be informed on the following topics:
- Introduction to air pollution;
- Key sources of air pollution;
- Health risks associated with air pollution;
- Recommended behavior to protect oneself from poor air quality;
- Recommended behavior to reduce air pollution;
- Reliable sources of information on air pollution, health hazards and recommended behavior, with presentation of the newly launched KHMI Air Quality Portal, Air Quality Smartphone application, and NIPH Air Quality website.
Besides the information presented to the general public, specific information will be delivered to vulnerable target groups, such as: older people, people with chronic diseases, pregnant women, and children. Special play & learn activities will be organized for children, in collaboration with the NGO Science for Change Kosovo.
The Air Quality Info Days will be held in eight Kosovo municipalities, starting with Fushë Kosova.
The events will be held throughout the day from 10AM–4PM, and citizens are invited to visit the events whenever convenient. Covid-19 protection measures will be implemented at the events, which will be held outdoors. (Only in the case of sudden rain or other bad weather conditions will the activities will be held indoors).
For Petrit Selimi, MFK CEO, clean air is a fundamental issue in Kosovo. “It’s one of the most important challenges for healthy living in Kosovo. MFK has supported Kosovo with building a reliable system of air pollution monitoring and reporting and we hope that the next step will be delivering appropriate policies and instruments to help Kosovars enjoy cleaner air”, Mr. Selimi noted.
MCC Country Director for Kosovo Sarah Olmstead, on behalf of MCC, expressed her happiness in being able to support local institutions to increase awareness of the causes and effects of air pollution. “Air pollution, caused primarily by households, industry, and traffic, has also led to hundreds of premature deaths per year, chronic bronchitis, and hospital admissions. This is why MCC has been supporting the institutions to develop modern systems for effective monitoring and reporting of real-time air quality data in Kosovo. These interventions aim to help citizens get informed of the risks they are exposed to so they can make informed decisions about their health and environmental choices”, Mrs. Olmstead stated.
Air Quality Info Days are an integral part of a nationwide awareness-raising campaign on air pollution and air quality, promoted with a slogan ‘Cleaner air for safer health’. The campaign is one of the key activities within the scope of the “Supply of Project Management, Air Quality Information Management, Behavior Change and Communication Services” Project, implemented by the NIRAS Consortium in support of the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH), the Kosovo Hydro-Meteorological Institute (KHMI), and the Kosovo Environmental Protection Agency (KEPA).
The Air Quality Project is part of Environmental Data Collection activity, implemented by Millennium Foundation Kosovo. MFK is an accountable entity responsible for implementation of the $49 million Threshold agreement, signed by the Republic of Kosovo and the 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. This project specifically aims to improve the public availability and analytical use of environmental data by businesses, the Government, Civil Society, and NGOs, thus promoting data driven decision-making.