Abid Omar has a social mission: how can I help improve the environment of Pakistan? He sees the air pollution emergency in Pakistan as a silver lining — an opportunity to drive environmental awareness and change that will clean up Pakistan for good. A key indicator of environmental issues is pollution that affects our daily lives, specifically air pollution. He found that there is no data for this, so he founded the Pakistan Air Quality Initiative in 2016 to monitor air quality across major urban areas of Pakistan and to provide awareness for air pollution and health issues, and therefore provide impetus for change. Abid advocates for reducing air pollution by providing open access to air quality data, through workshops and conferences, and hopes to publish his data and findings in a scientific journal.
The Pakistan Air Quality Initiative (PAQI) provides crowdsourced air quality data for Pakistan. PAQI is a community-driven initiative to set up low-cost, real-time monitors to capture air quality data and thereby increase social awareness. PAQI provides tools and information people need to thrive in polluted environments.