Angola's Higher Polytechnic Institute of Tundavala Explores Air Quality Monitoring with Penn State and Clarity Movement

Learn how the Higher Polytechnic Institute of Tundavala in Angola built an innovative network of air quality monitors.

Three generations of Clarity Node-S in Angola

Node-S air sensors thanks to funding from Penn State


monitoring for local, real-time air quality data

Urban & rural

Locations chosen for sensor placement

Evanilton Pires

Evanilton Pires

Environmental Engineer and Lecturer, Higher Polytechnic Institute of Tundavala
"Clarity's air quality monitoring solutions are playing a significant role in our efforts to raise awareness and educate our students and communities on the importance of air quality."
Subscribe to our newsletter
Read about our privacy policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

For Evanilton Pires, air pollution is both a personal and professional concern. As an Environmental Engineer and lecturer at the Higher Polytechnic Institute of Tundavala in Angola, Pires aims to provide students with comprehensive knowledge and skills to address environmental challenges.

The moment that sparked Evanilton’s unwavering motivation to study air quality: an asthma attack during a class in his second year of university. As Evanilton continued his education and gained more in-depth knowledge of air pollution, he recognized the need for accessible and widespread air quality monitoring in communities, particularly in his home country of Angola, and the need for more comprehensive air quality education.

Situation: Addressing air quality concerns in Angola

Our country has a lot of unknowns regarding air pollution and its effects on people's health. We need to create awareness and make people identify with the problem, so they can take action and improve air quality"

— Evanilton Pires, Higher Polytechnic Institute of Tundavala, Angola

Angola is facing a growing problem with air pollution, especially during the biomass burning season. This seasonal activity significantly increases particulate matter (PM) levels across various locations in the country, leading to poor air quality and potential health risks for the population. With limited resources and a lack of governmental support, there is a pressing need to better understand the sources and extent of air pollution in Angola and devise solutions to mitigate its impact.

Challenge: Overcoming obstacles in air quality monitoring

The main challenge faced by Evanilton and his team was the lack of widespread understanding and awareness about the impact of poor air quality on people's health. Local governments and policymakers had largely overlooked air pollution and its adverse health effects, with regulatory efforts focused on industries with significant financial resources, such as oil and gas. This left communities suffering from the consequences of various pollution sources, particularly seasonal biomass burning practices, without adequate solutions or preventive measures.

Moreover, access to resources like air quality monitoring sensors and reliable data has been limited, making it difficult for Evanilton to establish a comprehensive understanding of air quality in different areas of the country. This lack of data hampered efforts to design and implement targeted solutions in the areas most affected by air pollution.

Above: The latest installation site at Moçamendes, ISP Tundavala's new campus (under construction). 

To ensure the success of his vision, Evanilton needed reliable, accurate, and easy-to-deploy air quality sensors, as well as a strong network of partnerships to help spread awareness and drive change.

Solution: Implementing Clarity outdoor air quality sensors

Pires partnered with Professor Gregory Jenkins from Penn State University and Clarity Movement to install Node-S air sensors across eight locations in Angola, including cities, towns, and rural areas, with a focus on schools and universities as partners. Penn State’s funding would establish the pilot program for at least a year, enabling Pires to prove a critical proof-of-concept and build awareness amongst local communities.

With limited resources, Pires and his team focused on establishing air quality sensors in strategic locations around Angola such as Lubango (Huíla), Benguela, Huambo, Luanda, Moçâmedes and Moxico, mainly within schools and universities. 

We want to cover both urban and rural settings to create a comprehensive air quality monitoring network, promoting awareness about pollution, and helping people make informed decisions about their environment."

— Evanilton Pires, Higher Polytechnic Institute of Tundavala, Angola

The data collected from Clarity’s Node-S sensors has since provided valuable insight into air pollution and allow Pires and his team to identify patterns and sources. The project also incorporated an educational component, with students using the data as part of their coursework.

Above: The installation site at the ISP Tundavala Campus, collocated to their Automatic Weather Station.
​​Through Clarity's air sensors, my students, and the general public gain real-time air quality data, which plays a vital role in understanding the country-wide pollution trends and its implications."

— Evanilton Pires, Higher Polytechnic Institute of Tundavala, Angola

Outcome: Empowering communities through data and education

With the current network of Clarity Node-S sensors, localized air quality monitoring has provided key data to identify air pollution patterns and educate the public about its impact. Pires plans to expand the project, adding more sensors to cover a broader range of locations and engaging institutions such as hospitals to contribute to air quality monitoring efforts.

Above: A resulting comparison analysis of the diurnal signatures/profiles of four Clarity Node-S sensors.

With the Clarity Movement air sensors in place, Evanilton and his team were able to:

1. Establish a comprehensive air quality monitoring network around Angola, providing vital data to track pollution levels across various regions.

2. Integrate real-time air quality data into an environmental engineering curriculum, allowing students to learn from actual pollution patterns.

3. Create awareness about air pollution among the general public, advocating for policy changes and improving the overall understanding of its effects on human health and ecosystems.

4. Gather valuable data for research initiatives, further empowering the Higher Polytechnic Institute of Tundavala to push for changes in policy and pollution management.

Furthermore, Pires has presented findings from Clarity's air quality data at conferences and workshops, highlighting the significant increase in PM levels during the biomass burning season. This information serves to raise awareness among the general public and potentially influence policy implementation in the future.

Above: Evanilton’s proposed scenarios for Clarity Node-S network expansion
We're working on improving public awareness of air pollution, educating future environmental advocates, and seeking more funding to expand the sensor network around the country."

— Evanilton Pires, Higher Polytechnic Institute of Tundavala, Angola

Building on the grant from Penn State, Pires is keen to expand the monitoring network to cover a relative area of over 1M square kilometers, protecting Angolans and further educating communities on the impact of air pollution.

Want to speak with one of our Air Quality Experts?

Contact Us