NILU - The Norwegian Institute for Air Research

NILU supports Africa to achieve Cleaner air


Courtesy of Courtesy of NILU - The Norwegian Institute for Air Research

NILU is working in several African countries to establish the basis for air quality monitoring and management. The goal is to establish institutions and knowledge aimed at characterising the problem and in the next phase to identify measures to improve the environment.


NILU has been funded by Danida to establish a modern national network for ambient air quality in Egypt. A total of 42 sites covering all Egypt are now collecting data on air quality in Egypt. Measurements are undertaken in Greater Cairo (14 sites), Alexandria (7), Delta (8), Canal Area and Sinai (4) and Upper Egypt (9).

The network was installed from 1998 to 2001 and has been upgraded and audited in 2003-2004.
The programme includes the major criteria pollutants and meteorological parameters. The most important indicators selected are: SO2, NO2, PM10, CO, Ozone, VOC and lead. Data are transferred automatically or manually to two Monitoring Laboratories at the Universities in Cairo (CEHM) and Alexandria (IGSR).


NILU has developed and installed a complete and modern monitoring system for Botswana, which includes the larger city areas, the main industrial areas and emissions from waste burning, energy sources and traffic.

NILU supports Africa to achieve Cleaner air
The programme also include a planning tool for environmental improvement, including consequence analysis and impact assessment capabilities. One of the major air pollution sources in Botswana is the Selebe Phikwe BCL smelter, which is estimated to emit about 300 000 tonnes of SO2 per year. Measurements and model estimates indicate that episodic high concentrations of SO2 have been observed at northwest of the Selebe Phikwe copper smelters.

South Africa

NILU has designed a programme to improve and update the monitoring and to assess the air quality for South Durban Basin. A planning tool for improving the air quality is currently under establishment.

The programme will integrate emission inventories, ambient air quality measurements, a quality assurance (QA/QC) programme, data acquisition, data storage as well as modelling and impact assessment procedures utilizing all data and systems that are already operating in the region. The development includes a capacity building programme. NILU’s own in-house developed price-winning computer solution - AirQUIS - is the core of the programme.


NILU supports Africa to achieve Cleaner air


NILU has designed a programme to facilitate the support for development and operations of an air quality monitoring and management programme for Senegal.

The programme includes screening studies, network design; a GIS based database system, emission inventories and modelling. A major task will also include the establishment of institutions and laboratories. Training seminars, workshops and on-the job training will represent some of the input to obtain sustainability in the establishment.


NILU supported the Industrial Pollution Prevention Programme (IPPP) operated by the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ) in defining the ambient air pollution component of Zambia. Visits to the Copperbelt area, measurements and evaluation of the present air quality have been reported. A plan for the development of an air quality monitoring system was presented and further field investigations will be undertaken.


NILU has been requested to support Mozambique in presenting air quality training seminars as part of the institutional strengthening. The support is linked to the National Directorate for Energy (DNE) who requests consulting services to establish an environmental unit in the National Directorate for Energy (DNE), including capacity building and training of staff.

NILU supports Africa to achieve Cleaner air

The NILU course(s) on air pollution is proposed to cover:

  • The air quality monitoring programme, data objectives data management and validation
  • Monitoring networks, siting and design
  • The importance of meteorology, parameters and measurements
  • Data retrieval and quality assurance (QA/QC programmes)
  • Costs and procurement
  • Air Quality Management, abatement strategies


The World Health Organisation (WHO) initiated a programme for raising awareness of air pollution problems in Central Africa. NILU was requested to take a lead role. The aim of the course set up by the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Environment in February 2002 was to strengthen the national capacity to monitor and manage air quality in Nigeria and assist in its efforts to develop functional and result-oriented air quality management programme that will address both indoor and outdoor air pollution problems in the country including their impacts on the human environment.


NILU carried out a screening study of the air quality conditions at Mauritius, especially concerning to lead pollution related to traffic emissions. The programme included measurements, estimates and a health study based upon interviews and investigations of 3000 persons participating in the project.

NILU supports Africa to achieve Cleaner air

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