Safa Hawa app was recently launched on both Android and iOS platforms that will allow users to get hourly updates on the quality of air in different areas of the city in Nepal, reports The Kathmandu Post.
Why it matters:
- The app will provide information regarding PM 2.5 content and ozone content that are recorded by the air-quality monitoring stations. PM 2.5 is an air pollutant which results in tiny particles in the air that reduce visibility and cause the air to appear hazy when levels are elevated.
- The app currently shares the information obtained from air-quality monitoring stations installed at two places, one at the US Embassy and other in Thamel.
- The application was launched jointly by the US Ambassador to Nepal Alaina B. Teplitz and Department of Environment (DoE) Director General (DG) Durga Prasad Dawadi.
- The application was developed by Bidhee Pvt. Ltd. with the support of the US Embassy of Nepal.
- According to the developers, the application is available in both Nepali and English languages. The application will send hourly updates regarding the air-quality and also send notifications and share health tips.
What they are saying:
- Speaking at the launch event, Ambassador Teplitz said the app would accelerate the move for the healthier Kathmandu, especially at the time when South Asian countries like Nepal struggle with severe air-pollution issues.
- “Even without the necessary studies and data, everyone knows Kathmandu’s air quality is bad. We can see it and feel it almost every day. The questions are: How bad is it? And more importantly: What can we do about it?” she said, sharing results of various studies that expose the country’s air quality.
- Ambassador Teplitz said country’s poor air affects not only the health of citizens but also other sectors like business and tourism. She hoped the information on air quality available through the app would help the government deal with the deteriorating quality of air in the country, mainly in Kathmandu Valley.
- “Our goal for ‘Safa Hawa’ and the information it makes available is to help reduce the number of deaths and illness from air pollution and strengthen Nepal’s capacity to manage national health risks,” said the ambassador.
- The DoE DG Durga Prasad Dawadi shared his hopes that the mobile application would soon disseminate data collected from all the air-quality monitoring stations of the government. Ten such government stations measure air quality in different parts of the country.
- Safa Hawa application is a positive step taken to address the current air pollution situation of Nepal. Nepal was ranked last among the 180 countries for the quality of air in the recent global Environment Performance Index (EPI).
- The application will prove more effective once it will provide information gathered from other air-quality stations installed at different parts of the country.