ChemObs – Environmental Observatories for the Sound Management of Chemicals

the details…
Key pollutant
Date started
March 2015
Project Partners

UNEP, WHO, Africa Institute


Pure Earth is working with the UN’s Global Environment Facility (GEF) on the Africa ChemObs project–a partnership between UNEP, WHO and the Africa Institute. The Environmental Observatories for the Sound Management of Chemicals in Africa project aims to build capacity in setting up integrated health and environment observatory surveillance and information management systems in Africa, in order to establish evidence-based policies, and make sustainable decisions on sound management of chemicals and related disease burdens.

The project covers Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia and Zimbabwe. Pure Earth will work in select countries.

Pure Earth is also working to develop and validate a standardized toolkit for the collection, management and analysis of chemicals data, which will prioritize chemicals issues along environmental, economic and health/social criteria.  These ChemObs calculators will assist in prioritizing interventions in contaminated areas and to estimate adverse health outcomes (DALYs, IQ decrements) and associated economic costs resulting from chemicals exposure.

Overall, the ChemObs project’s objective is to contribute to improved health and environment through strengthening national and regional institutions, and implementing priority chemicals and waste-related interventions. The three main goals are to:

1. Strengthen capacity of relevant national government departments and institutions to monitor pollution, prioritize areas for intervention as well as plan and implement solutions through active involvement of local communities.

2. Development of broad-based action plans to promote sound chemicals management and reduce negative impacts on health and the environment.

3. National action plan implementation.