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When Air Quality Becomes Deleterious—A Case Study for Kigali, Rwanda

Author(s): Sascha M. Henninger

Journal: Journal of Environmental Protection
ISSN 2152-2197

Volume: 04;
Issue: 08;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Urban Air Quality | Particulate Matter | Urban Climate | Mobile Measurements

Rwanda is a landlocked republic in Equatorial Africa. The capital Kigali (1°57'S, 30°04'E) can be mentioned as a typical African city due to its rising population and the rising rate of motorization. Different pollutants produced e.g. by a highusage rate of mopeds or open fireplaces burning wood for cooking and household chores could be detected. Climatological parameters as well as air pollutants were measured within the urban area. Additionally, highly frequented spatial and temporal mobile measurements of particulate matter were taken during different dry seasons regarding different conditions. These values indicated an urban heat island, which tended to rise for the last four decades. A temporary phenomenon for the air pollution indicators is visible during clear and calm weather situations, e.g. the distinctive relief caused an accumulation within small valleys called “Marais” in the night time. Unfortunately, these are the favourite places for living and agriculture. So there is no infrequence in values of PM10 > 1.000 μg·m-3. The origin of the different airborne particles was verified by using a scanning electron microscope and it could be mentioned that most particles were from the combustion of biomass and traffic.
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