Air quality in Ukraine is worse than in any other European country (1). Although the system of state monitoring is recently being established in Ukraine, the building of the network goes at a very low speed and does not provide citizens with data on air quality here and now. Since 2018, only two state stations have been installed in Kyiv and four in Dnipro. The most relevant source of warning that the air is becoming thick is civic monitoring. More than 1000 civic stations, installed within the last years, measure the concentration of various pollutants 24/7 and publish the data online. For better comfort of the volunteers who run the stations, the Clean Air for Ukraine Project (2) together with EcoCity (3) are launching the technical support hotline.
“To date, the network of civic air pollution monitoring in Ukraine has more than 500 stations online. These smart devices use different types of sensors to measure 19 pollutants and warn the public about harmful concentrations,” says Oleksiy Trelevskyy, curator of the EcoCity. “Like with any other technology, stations can sometimes stop functioning and sensors degrade over time. There are one hundred and one reasons why your station stopped working, disappeared from the map, why its values seem to be weird,” he adds. “It is difficult for citizens to find answers to all these questions on their own. In order not to lose this station and one source of valuable data, technical support for the users is crucial.”
The civic air pollution monitoring network in Ukraine began to evolve two years ago. By the end of 2020, it surpassed the historical mark - one thousand stations were installed by citizens in all corners of our country.
“The experience gained in recent years shows that it is time to move from quantity to quality. Now we want to focus on the good technical condition of the stations, data storage, and stability of the system. Our newly launched technical support will help to solve several obstacles to further development of all civic air monitoring networks in Ukraine at once,” adds Maksym Soroka, technical expert of the Clean Air for Ukraine Project.
What does EcoCity technical support offer?
- we help the owners of the stations of any manufacturer and type with maintenance and modernization;
- we provide expert free-of-charge consultancy to everyone to choose the best station for your area or city;
- we increase the stability of the stations and quality of data;
- we provide a convenient channel of communication with technical specialists for all people participating in air pollution monitoring - regardless of the type of their station.
Technical support for the civic air pollution monitoring network is provided within the Clean Air for Ukraine Project, implemented by the non-governmental organizations Arnika (Czechia) and EcoCity (Ivano-Frankivsk) in cooperation with local civic initiatives in industrial cities with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic within the Transition Promotion Program and the National Endowment for Democracy, USA.
More information and materials are available at https://cleanair.org.ua.
(1) The latest outcome of the situation was published by bankwatch.org - a problem of dangerous air pollution in Ukraine that needs to be addressed: https://bankwatch.org/blog/ukraine-s-dangerous-air-pollution-problem-in-desperate-need-of-solutions
(2) The Clean Air Project is aimed at uniting citizens and civic initiatives in industrial cities of Ukraine that suffer from air pollution. It aims to improve access to information, increase public participation in decision-making and support public campaigns to achieve improvements. https://cleanair.org.ua
(3) The EcoCity project is a network of automated stations for public air quality monitoring, implemented by the NGO Free Arduino and partners. https://eco-city.org.ua