Imported vehicles to Africa are dangerous to health – NGO

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Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), an NGO says 90 per cent of vehicles imported into Africa are old and are dangerous to public health.

Ms Priyanka Chandola, the Programme Manager, Clean Air and Sustainable Mobility Programme of CSE disclosed this after a study on used vehicles made available in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.

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She said there was urgent need for global intervention to stop the unregulated dumping of used vehicles in Africa to reduce health and climate risks.

She said that the action plan was to enforce stringent measures to stop end-of-life, unsafe, damaged and recalled vehicles from entering the market.

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“About 85 per cent of the vehicles in Ethiopia, 80 per cent in Kenya and 90 per cent in Nigeria are second-hand, while the vehicle ownership rate in Africa is lower than the world average, the growth rate has increased.

“The global community which has, time and again, expressed its deep concern about the deteriorating air quality in the southern world, cannot look away from this problem of dumping anymore.

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“If this continues unchecked, without the exporting countries sharing the responsibility of addressing this problem, the poorer countries will not be able to meet their clean air and climate mitigation goals,” she said.

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Chandola said that based on the affordability levels, an outright ban on used vehicle import might not be immediately possible in many importing countries.

She said, however, that putting an age restriction along with higher taxes on older vehicles was needed to eliminate the dirty stream.

According to her, though several countries have increased taxes on older vehicles, these are seen more as a revenue source than a deterrent for imports.

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Our correspondent reports that many companies that make vehicles, including Volkswagen, Ford and Toyota have had cause to recall many of its new vehicles over emissions that harm the environment. None so far has been reported to be recallled from Africa.

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