Ukrainians got non-stop online access to air pollution data

9.12.2019 - KHARKOV / KRYVYI RIH / KRAMATORSK / ZAPORIZHIA
Installation of monitoring station in Kramatorsk
photo: Oleksandr Yaroschuk

As a part of the international project Clear Air for Ukraine, the members of Ukrainian organisation Eco City, together with regional partners and with support from Czech NGO Arnika, presented the state-of-the-art public air monitoring stations “Oxygen.” The stations were installed in four industrial cities of Ukraine - Kharkiv, Kramatorsk, Kryvyi Rih, and Zaporizhia.

According to the World Health Organization data from 2016, more than 30,000 inhabitants per year will die from air pollution in Ukraine. As of today, the public air monitoring stations are the main online resource for continuous information on air quality and safety, and for many areas in Ukraine, they are the only source. The “Oxygen” stations are special because they monitor not only particulates (which are monitored by other sensors as well) but also other dangerous substances: nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, ammonia, formaldehyde, ground-level ozone, and organic matter.

"The installation of ‘Oxygen‘ air monitoring stations by Eco City from Ivano-Frankivsk enables the public to continuously evaluate air quality. The stations also allow for the collection of vast data which will be used to calculate and predict air pollution and its risks for the public health," said Maksym Soroka, the scientific and technical expert of the Clear Air for Ukraine project.

Last year, research conducted by a team of Czech and Ukrainian experts from the NGOs together with University of Chemistry and Technology from Prague showed dangerous levels of pollution in Ukrainian cities of Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, Zaporizhia, Kharkiv, and Mariupol. The international team collected 88 samples from sediments, sand from children's playgrounds, and chicken eggs from local farms. These samples were subsequently analyzed in a certified laboratory. The installation of public air monitoring system “Oxygen” is a reaction to this research and its findings.

The monitoring stations were presented and installed in November.

The main driving force of the project is its coordinators in the industrial Ukrainian cities - civic organisations and initiatives: It is Enough to  Poison Kryvyi Rih, Ecocide.NET from Kharkiv, The Social Development Fund from Kramatorsk, and Dzyga from Zaporizhia.

"The civic activities of inhabitants of industrial cities raised awareness about ecological monitoring and the need to speed up legal reforms to be in accordance with European standards. We support these activists thanks to financial resources from the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a part of the Transition Promotion Program and the National Endowment for Democracy fund. The Czech Republic was dealing with similar issues with industrial air pollution 20 years ago. Today, we want to share our experience and help Ukraine to modernise as soon as possible without needless mistakes," said Martin Skalsky, the chairman of Arnika's Centre for Citizens’ Support.

For more information about the Clear Air for Ukraine project please visit: https://english.arnika.org/ukraine

For photographs of the installation, please visit the photo gallery.

International activities