A multitude of sources emits air pollutants in urban areas of Zimbabwe, especially in Harare and Kwekwe. These include industrial sources and power plants, open fires, and an increasing vehicle fleet which is ageing and not well maintained. All three types of sources are likely to contribute significantly to air pollution concentrations.
Zimbabwe has established the Air Pollution Control Unit (APCU) for Harare and promulgated Regulations for smoke and emission control. Recently the Environmental Management Act (EMA) was promulgated which provides for pollution control and environmental impact assessment. The EMA is not yet fully operational and the repealed Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act (APPA) of 1971 is still being enforced for lack of an alternative.
The city of Harare has the capacity to sample and measure ambient SO2, Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) and NO2 three times a week on a 72-48-48 hour basis. Currently there are eight sampling sites situated in residential and industrial areas. Both active and passive sampling methods are used. AQM in Harare is carried out in a two pronged approach: Industrial surveillance and the measurement of SO2, SPM and NO2. Some monitoring capacity exists in both Harare and Kwekwe. Challenges include however the need for training, equipment and chemical analysis capacity.
AQM in Zimbabwe focuses mostly on industrial sources although the contribution from the vehicle fleet is likely to be significant, too. A stronger emphasis of vehicle emissions and corresponding measures such as the reduction of sulphur in diesel and other fuel specifications are desirable to protect the population.