The harm that air pollution is doing on the African continent seems to be growing. Estimates of premature mortality attributed to air pollution have increased from about 570,000 in 1990 to over 700,000 in 2013. In the same period, premature deaths from unsafe water, unsafe sanitation and childhood malnutrition have decreased across Africa.
Many challenges also remain for the continent to reach the Sustainable Development Goals related to air quality.
But these estimates have high levels of uncertainty, because of the shortage of air quality data they’re based on. So while it appears that the scale of the problem is large and increasing, it’s difficult to quantify it accurately. What’s needed is monitoring on the spot.
Current assessments rely heavily on a limited number of terrestrial measurements of air pollution. They use air quality models and information from satellites to fill in the gaps. In areas where there’s less information