Africa: A Dumping Ground For Old Cars
When you got your first car, can you describe the kind of happiness you experienced? I am going to guess you treated that car like your baby; not even a scratch would have gone unnoticed. The number of cars estimated to be on the roads today stands at a whopping 1.2 billion, and the number is expected to rise up to 2 billion by 2035. While cars stand as an indicator of the economic progress of a country, how do you dispose them?
So where do you think old, unused and undesired cars are dumped? You guessed it right, Africa.
For a long period, Africa has been considered a dumping ground for used cars. But this begs the question why? There is a simple reason for this. Europe and North America are developing strict laws that prohibit the use of cars which are 25 years and older. You will notice that these cars emit poisonous gases, therefore, polluting the environment. Environmental pollution is becoming a big bother all over the world.
So, when you have old vehicles that guzzle fuel and emit pollution gases where do you dump them? Will you need a backyard right? So guess which continent is considered the backyard of the world? Yes, you guessed it correct it is the cradle of humankind.
Cars which are not desirable are being brought in Africa where they are sold for low prices. It is estimated that Japan and the US are leading car exporters in Africa taking 15% of the market.
What are the effects of using such vehicles on the continent?
There are reasons why these cars are not needed in other continents. The African continent has been on the receiving end of having to bear with the consequences of purchasing undesired vehicles.
For instance, most of these substandard vehicles use up a lot of fuel which in turn leads to air pollution. In the long, you have a lot of people dying from respiratory illnesses. In 2016 15,000 children who are below the age of five years died because of respiratory complications.
How can Africa deal with this situation?
It is not all doomed for African countries because the various governments are taking upon themselves to end this evil. For instance, in 25 states they have restricted the buying of cars which are over 25 Years. Rwanda under the leadership of President Paul Kagame has entirely restricted the use of used vehicles in the country. Rwanda recently launched its motor shop where it is going to manufacture cars using its own set of materials.
Other continents like Europe are implementing stringent laws for the better of the region. Africa has also not been left behind. There are eleven countries which have adopted a sulfur fuel standard of 50 ppm. If more states take this move, then we do not have to worry about respiratory diseases.
It will take an extended period before Africa fully adopts the restriction of used cars. However, with all the initiatives that are being regulated by various countries, it won’t be long before things change. We do hope it is sooner than the latter.
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