EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

MOPGA/Make Air Quality Great Again: Filling in the air quality data gap in Africa using lower-cost RAMP monitors

Ramachandran Subramanian1, Matthias Beekmann1, Carl Malings1, Anais Feron2, Paola Formenti2, Michael Giordano2, Beatrice Marticorena2, Corinne Galy-Lacaux3, Catherine Liousse3, Joseph Adesina4, Stuart Piketh4, Kofi Amegah5, Julien Bahino6, Véronique Yoboué6, Laouali Dungall7, Rebecca M Garland8, Jimmy Gasore9, Vincent Madadi10, and Jean-Louis Rajot11
Ramachandran Subramanian et al.
  • 1OSU-EFLUVE/CNRS, UPEC/ENPC/Université de Paris, Créteil, France (
  • 2LISA/CNRS, UPEC/IPSL/Université de Paris, Créteil, France
  • 3Laboratoire d'Aérologie/CNRS, Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France
  • 4School of Geo- and Spatial Science, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
  • 5University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
  • 6Laboratoire de Physique de l’Atmosphère, Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
  • 7Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey, Niamey, Niger
  • 8CSIR, Pretoria, South Africa
  • 9University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda
  • 10University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
  • 11iEES-Paris/IRD, UPEC/SU/INRAe/Université de Paris, Créteil, France

Ambient air pollution is a leading cause of premature mortality across the world, with an estimated 258,000 deaths in Africa (UNICEF/GBD 2017). These estimated impacts have large uncertainties as many major cities in Africa do not have any ground-based air quality monitoring. The lack of data is due in part to the high cost of traditional monitoring equipment and the lack of trained personnel. As part of the “Make Air Quality Great Again” project under the “Make Our Planet Great Again” framework (MOPGA), we propose filling this data gap with low-cost sensors carefully calibrated against reference monitors.

Fifteen real-time affordable multi-pollutant (RAMP) monitors have been deployed in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire; Accra, Ghana; Kigali, Rwanda; Nairobi, Kenya; Niamey, Niger; and Zamdela, South Africa (near Johannesburg). The RAMPs use Plantower optical nephelometers to measure fine particulate matter mass (PM2.5) and four Alphasense electrochemical sensors to detect pollutant gases including nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3).

Using a calibration developed in Créteil, France, the deployments thus far reveal morning and evening spikes in combustion-related air pollution. The median hourly NO2 in Accra and Nairobi for September-October 2019 was about 11 ppb; a similar value was observed across November-December 2019 in Zamdela. However, a previous long-term deployment of the RAMPs in Rwanda showed that, for robust data quality, low-cost sensors must be collocated with traditional reference monitors to develop localized calibration models. Hence, we acquired regulatory-grade PM2.5, NO2, and O3 monitors for Abidjan and Accra. We also collocated RAMPs with existing reference monitors in Zamdela, Kigali, Abidjan, and Lamto (a rural site in Côte d'Ivoire). In this talk, we will present results on spatio-temporal variability of collocation-based sensor calibrations across these different cities, source identification, and challenges and plans for future expansion.

How to cite: Subramanian, R., Beekmann, M., Malings, C., Feron, A., Formenti, P., Giordano, M., Marticorena, B., Galy-Lacaux, C., Liousse, C., Adesina, J., Piketh, S., Amegah, K., Bahino, J., Yoboué, V., Dungall, L., Garland, R. M., Gasore, J., Madadi, V., and Rajot, J.-L.: MOPGA/Make Air Quality Great Again: Filling in the air quality data gap in Africa using lower-cost RAMP monitors, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10942,, 2020.


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