Ethiopia hopes a new air sensor will improve the performance of its athletes
Ethiopia is going a step further to improve the performance of its athletes by investing in cleaner air quality.
in world sports for producing some of the best marathoners is now
joining regional competitors Kenya and Uganda in investing in air
monitoring. Other countries that are leading in the same cause are
Senegal, Nigeria, South Africa, and Tanzania.
The country’s first air sensor has been installed at the Ethiopian Youth Sports Academy (EYSPA) grounds in Addis Ababa, on the margins of the 2023 Annual Congress of East Africa Athletics Region hosted by the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF).
“Our athletes need to be supported by our air quality program otherwise without a healthy environment, their health will be affected,” Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) president Hamad Kalkaba Malboum said.
The installation was
coordinated by the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF), the United
Nations Environment Program Regional Office for Africa (UNEP ROA),
and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) Africa Center.
Air quality and sports
The sensor will collect data on carbon emissions, dangerous gases such as ozone and nitrogen oxide and send it to a central data analysis point. The data will be used to inform decisions on the best training time at the tracks and measures to reduce air impurities.
Athletics Kenya president remarked the air quality sensor “will go
a long way in ensuring that the long term health interest of our
athletes and the society in general are taken care of by all
The African Union
plans to develop an Africa clean air program where all African
stadiums and sports facilities will have sensors that monitor the
quality of air for athletes.
“Air pollution is
associated with over a million premature deaths per year in Africa,
which occur due to people being exposed to harmful pollutants both
indoors and outdoors. Africa faces a double burden of worsening air
quality, and climate vulnerability, which affects all sectors,
including sports,” Said Philip Osano, SEI Africa director.
Addis Ababa now
joins 6,000 other cities across 117 countries around the world that
the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates are investing in
monitoring air quality at sporting events.