Data scientists are taking part in a global competition to create a computer process that will accurately predict air quality in Uganda.
The challenge named The AirQo Ugandan Air Quality Forecast Challenge will see the winner bag a share of the $5,000( approximately Shs19 million) prize fund.
The winner’s air quality forecast solution will be implemented in Uganda to help the country’s environment experts make policy and planning decisions.
Over 400 data experts from countries including Tanzania, India, Nigeria, Japan, and the UAE are using information collected hourly from sensors in Kampala to accurately forecast air quality for a future 25-hour period using the Zindi data science competition platform.
The competition is organised by environmental scientists at the University of Birmingham and the AirQo project from Makerere University, Kampala, in partnership with Zindi – Africa’s largest data science competition platform focused on solving the continent’s most pressing problems.
The ability to accurately predict air quality over short time periods will empower everyone from governments to families to make informed decisions to protect health and guide people’s actions.
Professor Francis Pope, A Systems Approach to Air Pollution, East Africa Project Lead, from the University of Birmingham noted that one of the main indicators of air quality is PM2.5. Generated by traffic, industry, and burning fossil fuels, these particles are invisible to the naked eye but can cause major health problems.