Air pollution is a prominent problem in various parts of the world. This issue affects both the health and daily lives of members in the communities which are impacted. The most vulnerable demographics include the children and elderly whose immune systems are weak and can be easily compromised by poor air quality. Small particles in the air are able to seep into human blood streams and cause health issues resulting in increase of hospital admissions which sometimes are even fatal. Besides from health problems, air pollution also causes thicker fog in the winter causing traffic visibility to worsen and causing traffic accidents.
IEEE Islamabad Section SIGHT created a project titled “Let’s Breathe Clean Together” that would help with the air pollution issue in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, Pakistan. The team designed 10 remote sensing kits that are able to detect the levels of pollution in the air. The collected data is used for air pollution research and public awareness campaigns to reduce health risks.
The SIGHT group has started an awareness campaign in collaboration with the Capital Development Authority (Islamabad) and the Rawalpindi Development Authority, which are the respective Municipal Authorities of the twin cities to educate industrial labor about the adverse effect of poor air quality. The data retrieved from the remote sensing kits have been provided to demonstrate how industrial waste is affecting the health in rural areas closer to work sites.
As a result, the CDA and RDA have taken necessary actions to bring the Industrial Community, Local Community and Engineers on board to discuss possible solutions to the problem and how to take up the local community on-board to bring a sustainable solution. In addition, the SIGHT group has also contacted industries to adopt safety measures for the labor at industrial sites and to adopt safety precautions that will prevent healthcare issues due to poor air quality.