Air pollution especially in urban areas not only contributes to climate change but also increases cases of respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, lung cancer and asthma. East Africa has some of the fastest growing cities in the developing world. Some of these cities include Nairobi, Dar-es-Salaam, Kampala, Kigali, Bujumbura, Mombasa, Kisumu, Arusha, Jinja and many others. Most if not all of these cities are home to an increasing number of processing and manufacturing industries, as well as service industries. This has resulted in large populations migrating from the countryside to seek employment in these industries, hence rapid urbanization is taking place. With this pressure of urbanization comes increasing transportation demand, combined with rising personal vehicle ownership. The combined emissions from the manufacturing and transportation sectors, as well as from waste disposal landfills is causing significant impacts on urban air quality and greenhouse gas emissions, and this is not only compromising the quality of human health but also contributing to climate change.
All of the East Africa nations have some form of framework environmental legislation that makes general provisions for the sound management of the environment. Some of these countries, for example Uganda, have also passed specific regulations and standards to assure clean air, especially in the rapidly growing urban centres. However, other countries like Kenya have only recently developed their draft Ambient Air Quality Regulations and Standards but the same are yet to come into force. At the same time, others like Burundi are yet to develop their air quality regulations and standards. At the East Africa Community level, attempts have been made to come up with harmonized regional air quality standards but the process has since stalled owing various challenges.
In view of the foregoing scenario, EANECE seeks to work with relevant institutions including the East African Standards Committee and the respective national environment agencies in all the EANECE member states to develop a sound regulatory framework for air pollution control in East Africa.
Programme Goal & Objectives:
The overall goal of the programme is to create sound governance framework (i.e. policy, legal and institutional infrastructure) for assuring clean ambient air especially in urban areas and cities in the East Africa nations of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The programme will focus on priority air pollutants such as: Particulate matter (Dust, black smoke, smog, aerosols); Sulphur oxides (SOX); Nitrogen oxides (NOX); Carbon monoxide (CO);Carbon dioxide (CO2);Hydrocarbons (HC); Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC); Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S); Hydrogen Chloride (HCl); Lead and its compounds; Mercury vapour (Hg); Ozone (O3); Dioxins and furans (PCDD and PCDF); Methane (CH4); Nitrous oxides (N2O); Hydrofluorocarbons (HCFCs); Perfluorocarbons (PFCs); andÂ Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).
Within the context of the foregoing goal, the objectives of the programme include:
- To control air pollution from mobile sources (mainly forms of transport, especially motor vehicles - cars, bus fleets, trucks, trains) by encouraging the adoption of clean fuels, clean vehicle technologies and other necessary regulatory measures;
- To control air pollution from point sources (mainly atmospheric emission stacks and chimneys) and other stationary sources including landfills, open burning of farm and other waste) by encouraging the adoption of cleaner production technologies and practices, installation of air pollution control technologies and other necessary regulatory measures;
- To build the capacity of the environmental regulators and other players in the regulatory cycle including inspectors, prosecutors, attorneys and judiciary in order to assure implementation of and compliance with the proposed air quality legislation;
- To undertake compliance promotion and assistance among the regulated community in order to achieve greater compliance with the proposed air quality legislation; and
- To foster enforcement cooperation among diverse players in the regulatory regime for the effective implementation and enforcement of the ambient air quality legislation.
The EANECE Secretariat is currently working with diverse partners including the International Network for Environmental Compliance & Enforcement (INECE) to develop this programme and welcomes more partners interested in participating in this programme.