Connecting the BIS Community

Air Pollution in Bishkek and How BIS Addresses the Problem

By: Mariia Samoilova

Air pollution is a significant issue in Bishkek, the capital city of Kyrgyzstan. The burning of low-quality coal for heating, combined with the high volume of older cars on the roads, lack of effective public transportation, and poor waste management, contribute to the poor air quality in the city. The city’s geography, with its narrow valleys and surrounding mountain ranges, traps pollutants in the air, making it difficult for them to disperse. This problem is exacerbated during the winter months and poses serious health risks to citizens, particularly children, elderly people, and individuals with pre-existing health conditions.

While Bishkek International School(BIS) may not be able to control air pollution on a large scale, our school’s management board is committed to doing everything in their power to keep our students safe. They take a proactive approach to combat the effects of air pollution on everyone in school, by implementing various measures throughout the school.

One of the ways how our school addresses the air pollution problem is through the use of HEPA air filters in every room. These filters work to keep the AQI (Air Quality Index) level below 50, ensuring that the air we breathe is clean and safe. Additionally, our school has installed a PurpleAir monitor both inside and outside of the building, which allows monitoring of the air quality on a daily basis. This includes not just the AQI level but also the readings from other PurpleAir monitors in the city. To ensure the filters are functioning properly, BIS staff conducts daily checks of all the rooms and corridors in the school.