Spatial air pollution modelling for a West-African town

Main Article Content

Sirak Zenebe Gebreab
Danielle Vienneau
Christian Feigenwinter
Hampâté Bâ
Guéladio Cissé
Ming-Yi Tsai *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Ming-Yi Tsai |


Land use regression (LUR) modelling is a common approach used in European and Northern American epidemiological studies to assess urban and traffic related air pollution exposures. Studies applying LUR in Africa are lacking. A need exists to understand if this approach holds for an African setting, where urban features, pollutant exposures and data availability differ considerably from other continents. We developed a parsimonious regression model based on 48-hour nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations measured at 40 sites in Kaédi, a medium sized West-African town, and variables generated in a geographic information system (GIS). Road variables and settlement land use characteristics were found to be important predictors of 48-hour NO2 concentration in the model. About 68% of concentration variability in the town was explained by the model. The model was internally validated by leave-one-out cross-validation and it was found to perform moderately well. Furthermore, its parameters were robust to sampling variation. We applied the model at 100 m pixels to create a map describing the broad spatial pattern of NO2 across Kaédi. In this research, we demonstrated the potential for LUR as a valid, cost-effective approach for air pollution modelling and mapping in an African town. If the methodology were to be adopted by environmental and public health authorities in these regions, it could provide a quick assessment of the local air pollution burden and potentially support air pollution policies and guidelines.

Downloads month by month


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

Author Biography

Ming-Yi Tsai, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel; University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health

Senior Research Scientist

Exposure Science Group Leader