seven million people worldwide died in the year 2012 alone as a result of air pollution exposure. A report published by WHO in the year 2014 also declares air pollution as the world’s largest single environmental health risk.
Air pollution has been a problem for every developed or developing country, but India, being the second most populous geographical entity in the world, faces some serious health risks. As per Greenpeace reports, India has lost 1.2 million lives because of pollution. Pollution significantly contributes to premature deaths in the nation, and is increasingly being linked to many communicable diseases and respiratory diseases.
As per the assessment of the Central Pollution Control Board, out of 30 selected cities, 10 of them are below satisfactory levels and fall in the “poor” and “very poor” categories. However, Delhi, positioned at fourth with PM2.5 as a prominent pollutant, and Gurgaon top the list with an Index Value of 307.
Whenever the Index Value exceeds moderate levels, prolonged breathing discomfort is common, followed by serious respiratory and lung diseases.
There have been several steps taken by national and international organizations at the policy level to minimise pollutants and control emission of hazardous chemicals. But the problem is that the participation of common civilians is significantly minimal. Without involving the common population, the success rate will always be under expectations, since they usually lack data and information to take any proper measures to control the pollution.
Reap Benefit, which works to empower youngsters and believes in building next-generation problem-solvers, has developed an Air Quality Monitor (AQM) called the ‘Climekit’. This innovation is based on the idea of simplifying solutions and the problem in such a way that normal civilians can contribute efforts to solving local problems of air pollution.
Youngsters hold the real potential of the country, and the Climekit can help them have dialogues with concerned authorities with requisite data to solve the complex problem of air pollution at large scales as well.
Air quality is an extremely complex problem, and it is difficult for the common citizens to understand or gauge it. The Climekit is an affordable monitor which users can easily understand. It provides suggestive data, and once the data is available, it becomes really easy to take properly planned steps to implement solutions that can minimise the level of pollutants in the air.
Most AQMs are really expensive and are not easy for civilians to read and understand. There are also problems in the installation of those AQMs—because of high costs, one can only place them in some specific areas.
However, with the Climekit, this problem does not exist. One can place the cost-effective small square weather station anywhere to generate local data. It is easily readable and simple to replicate.
It uses a DHT22 sensor to measure daily temperature and humidity. A sharp dust sensor measures the dust particle and carbon monoxide (PM 2.5) density. The updated version comes with a two-split system. One uses normal Wi-Fi connectivity to upload the collected data. The second one can use a mobile sim card with internet connectivity to do the same.
The best part is that the system can collect and upload the data even at 2G or 3G internet speeds.
The idea behind Climekit is validating readings through several data points, instead of using powerful sensors for extremely accurate data. Bringing people together while empowering them to solve the air pollution problem is the real concern.
Thin smooth dust particles go directly to the lungs, and are almost impossible to drag from the human body. Cleaning the air alone can save millions of life annually and reduce communicable diseases to a great extent. The first step is to have data or information so that one can make evaluations accordingly.
The electronic parts of Climekit are easily available and anyone can assemble it with little effort. Anyone anywhere can use this unique kit to help towards solving the complex problem of air pollution through simple solutions.
Join Reap Benefit in its mission to solve local civic environmental problems through data and innovation. Visit the website.