Establishment of the Kosovo National Air Quality Monitoring Network
During 2020, the Kosovo Hydrometeorological Institute-KHMI received support from Millennium Foundation Kosovo-MFK (funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation-MCC), for further development of the communication network that feeds real time air quality data through this online portal.
In November 2019, KHMI was supported by MFK to relocate three Air Quality Monitoring Stations (AQMS) in Gjilan, Prizren and Drenas, whilst repairing the metal fence in the monitoring station in Mitrovica.
As of November 2019, new air quality equipment were installed in 7 AQMS, whereas thirteen uninterruptable power supplies (UPS), thirteen meteorological sensors and data loggers, routers and security cameras with SIM cards installed to allow wireless data transmission, were installed in the 12 fixed and 1 mobile AQMS. A high-performance desktop PC was installed at KHMI that monitors the data and images from all the stations.
As a result of the above intervention, as of December 2019 data from all 13 AQMS was being transmitted wirelessly and continuously to the ASHI servers, which is accessible to KHMI staff along with the images from the security cameras which can be viewed remotely.
After the installation of equipment, KHMI staff were trained on standard operating procedures for the analysers (CO, NOx, O3, PM, SO2) and demonstrated proficiency in the use, maintenance, calibration and manipulation of the newly installed equipment.
During 2018, the European Commission Liaison Office in Prishtina, supported KHMI by investing in AQMS communication network to collect and process the data from 8 (out of 12) AQMS with data linked to a smartphone app (Android and iOS) to allow the public to access Kosovo air quality data. Following this investment, a local company was contracted by JICA and Ministry of Environment to maintain and service 12 AQMS, from which 5 supported by the JICA and 7 by the Ministry of Environment.
KHMI contracted an operator to maintain and service the AQMS network of 12 stations.
Using its own funds, the KHMI serviced monitoring stations in Drenas, Mitrovica, Dardhishtë, Hani i Elezit and the mobile station, whereas a diagnosis of operational issues in the monitoring stations in Obiliq and Prishtina was also conducted. In this year, the air quality monitoring network was re-developed and redesigned.
Using its own funds, the KHMI serviced monitoring stations in Drenas, Prishtina- Rilindja, Mitrovica and Peja, whilst a diagnosis of operational issues in the monitoring stations in Obiliq and Prishtina was carried out.
The World Bank, in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Development (MED), purchased 3 AQMS that are located in the Obiliq area. In the same year the KHMI acquired full management of these three stations, from transitional international management.
With the support of the European Commission Liaison Office in Prishtina, the full operation and maintenance of 5 AQMS was carried out in Gjilan, Hani i Elezit, Brezovica, Prizren and Peja.
KHMI received technical support by the European Commission Liaison Office in Prishtina in building technical capacity for the KHMI Staff regarding the air quality monitoring. Thanking this support, the KHMI continued internal development in the following area:
- Five AQMS established in Gjilan, Hani i Elezit, Brezovicë, Prizren and Pejë. The stations were equipped with analysers for the monitoring of SO2, NOx (NO2), CO, O3 and PM10 and PM2.5 as well as sensors for monitoring meteorological parameters.
- Establishment of a laboratory for the chemical analysis of air, equipped with laboratory instruments for the determination of heavy metals, anions and organic compounds in the air.
- Establishment of laboratory capability for the calibration of air analysers.
- Purchase of an off-road vehicle for conducting field work.
In the same year, with investments from the Government budget, 3 additional monitoring stations for monitoring SO2, NOx (NO2), CO, O3 and PM10 and PM2.5 were installed in Prishtina-Rilindja, Drenas and Mitrovica.
The design of the national Air Quality Monitoring Network commenced. During this year, the Department of Environmental Protection of MESP and the KHMI, assisted by the European Commission Office in Prishtina conducted a preliminary study for the determination of the monitoring points.
The number of stations for air quality monitoring in Kosovo was determined based on the information collected from the study and according to the criteria set in directive 2008/50/EC, under which it was decided that the national air quality monitoring network in Kosovo should have 9 fixed monitoring stations.
By the end of 2010, with an investment from the budget of the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, a mobile station for air quality monitoring was put into operation. In addition, AQMS in Prishtina-Rilindja was put into operation as a result of a donation by the Slovenian government. This station was equipped to monitor PM10 and PM2.5.
The first air quality monitoring station located in Prishtina-KHMI started operation following an investment from the budget of the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning.