Based in Texas, medical professionals Dr. Awa Sabally-Touray and Dr. Sunkaru Touray together launched the ‘Permian Health Clean Air Initiative’ 18 months ago. Their primary goal is to democratize air quality data in Gambia, a crucial step towards enhancing air quality and improving the health of citizens.

This physician couple, have successfully formed multiple partnerships, earned the trust and support from the Gambian government, and established a network of 7 low-cost air quality sensors in a country where air quality monitoring was previously non-existent. These sensors are strategically deployed in densely populated regions, where approximately two-thirds of Gambia’s population resides. On September 07, 2023, they hosted the inaugural air quality conference in Gambia.

With technology, the continuous efforts of their dedicated team in Gambia, and the invaluable support of volunteers associated with their partner NGO, GAMCOTRAP, they have managed to overcome geographical barriers.

In alignment with the mission to democratize air quality data, future plans include expanding the LCS network and establishing a RGM in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Gambia National Environment Agency (NEA). The RGM installation will streamline colocation and calibration for the LCS network. Additionally, there is a plan to develop an ambient air quality information system to engage with communities in their native language, conduct capacity-building workshops for media professionals and facilitate focus group discussions and workshops with diverse community groups, including businesses, to enhance awareness of the environmental and health implications of their actions.

Country Profile (The Gambia): Opportunity Score 10.4 (High): Annual average PM2.5 levels are more than 1.4 times the WHO guideline. There is no public PM2.5 data produced by the government, nor is there a national ambient air quality standard for PM2.5.