Nairobi City Marathon: Organisers to monitor air quality on route
The organisers of this year’s Nairobi City Marathon will monitor the quality of the air on the Nairobi city Marathon route all through the duration of the race on Sunday as more elite athletes registered. Athletics Kenya (AK) under the United Nations “Sports for Climate Action” have installed nine air quality sensors along the route that will indicate if the air athletes are breathing is permissible in competitive sports. AK president Jack Tuwei disclosed that they have increased the number of censors by three so as to cover enough ground during the races that will start along Aerodrome Road and end at the Nyayo National Stadium. In addition, there will be a mobile air sensor quality laboratory from National Environment Management Authority (Nema) stationed along Aerodrome Road while there will also be portable air quality monitors carried by cyclists guiding runners. Sports for Climate Action is a campaign launched by the United Nation and World Athletics in 2018 aimed at supporting and guiding sports actors in achieving global climate change goals. The campaign aims to help sports organisations reduce emissions caused by their operations and use worldwide popularity of sports to engage millions of fans in their effort. Tuwei noted that AK was the first of 214 World Athletic member federations to sign and commit to the Sports for Climate Action under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). “The government has taken a leading role in the world of sports through a commitment to reduce 50 per cent emissions by 2030 and reaching a net-zero by 2040,” said Tuwei, adding that 15,000 trees will be planted at some points on the Nairobi Expressway and below. UN’s Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) centre director, Philip Osano, said that they are pushing the ministry of environment and forestry and the County Government of Nairobi to develop an air quality act, which will in enhance the Sports for Climate Action plan. “Already, our censors were able to detect something around the Museum intersection and we were able to address it,” said Osano. The 2022 Bangkok Marathon champion Fridah Jepkoech and Rael Kipyator, the winner of Kampala Marathon in 2015 and 2017 are among 9,000 participants who had registered for the race. Others joining the women’s 42km fray are Purity Kalekye, Janeth Komen, Winnie Jepkoegei and Hilda Jepkosgei.