Mapping and analysis of air pollution in Nairobi, Kenya
Mulaku, Galcano C
Kariuki, L. W
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Air pollution is any atmospheric condition in which certain substances are present in such concentrations and duration that they may produce harmful effects on man and his environment. Common air pollutants include carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide, lead and Total Suspended Particulates (TSP), the latter being the most widespread and the most serious for human health. The major sources of air pollutants are man’s industrial manufacturing and motor vehicle operation activities, both of which are concentrated in urban areas, where also the bulk of the World’s population lives. Available data shows that the air quality in most major cities of the World has deteriorated to levels that make air quality management strategies necessary. This paper outlines the air quality management capabilities of developed and developing nations and finds that in developing nations, especially those in Africa, such capabilities are either absent or only rudimentary; The situation in Kenya given as an example. The paper then reports on a study to determine the spatial distribution of TSP in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city. A map showing the distribution has been produced, probably the first of its kind for the city, which shows that the levels of TSP in most of Nairobi are much above the average recommended by the World Health Organization.