The International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) has demonstrated the positive uses of atomic energy as it spearheads pollution monitoring in Africa .
Atomic energy is known for producing explosive bombs and harmful substances in the previous global war setting but IAEA has changed the narrative – emerging of new technologies unpacks new areas of functionality.
Establishing and Improving Air Pollution Monitoring is developmental project pioneered by IAEA in Africa.
The Programme seeks to address myriad problems of air pollution in the continent through collaboration and technology transfers among member states.
The programme titled Establishing and Improving Air Pollution Monitoring Project (RAF 7016) in Africa has 23 member states drawn from different parts of the continent.
This year marks the final year since the implementation in 2016. More than 17 member states converged in Harare, Zimbabwe’s Capital City this Monday for a review process and to map way foward.
Speaking to SpotLight Online News Africa Felix Omonya Wanjala IAEA Programme Management Officer for Africa said the international organization initiated the project to incorporate African countries in addressing challenges of air pollution on a global scale.
“IAEA initiated the project to assist African countries in monitoring air pollution and this has also allowed member states to share ideas on common grounds and coming up with future resolutions.There shall be a reveal of the project on each country in the manner they are implementing pollution monitoring in their member states.”
African member states have been able to scale up pollution monitoring and improving air quality management using Nuclear Analytical Techniques (NATs).
Mr Washington Zhakata in a speech on behalf of Zimbabwe’s Permanent Secretary for Environment sees the project as a contributing factor towards advancement of developmental agenda on climate change.
“The project has provided the required coordination among African countries to advance their Sustainable Development Agenda especially now when countries are faced with major challenges associated with climate change.”
Dr Alassane Traore Nuclear Analyst with Cheikh Anta Diop University Senegal confirmed positive strides made with the use of new equipments provided by IAEA.
“In the last four years we have achieved a lot through collaborations especially with the use of new equipments provided by IAEA.”
Lawrence Mashungu Project Counterpart -RAF 7016 for Zimbabwe said the technical process involved during the implementation has the ability to inform change of polices to help maneuver air pollution minitoring.
“The implementation of the project ensures coordination among players in the continent and this starts with identification of components and their sources in the air that we will be able to work with. That way we move on to inform new legislation so that we can be able to take action.”
Zimbabwe have so far received state of the art equipment from IAEA with the government pledging to procure more in order to cover areas outside the Capital City.