Dumping: Overlooked Dangers Of Importing Used Vehicles

Air pollution is one of the biggest killers across the world and Cameroonian cities are the most polluted according to a report the India-based Center for Science and Environment published.

A report published last week by UNICEF entitled “Clear the air for children”says 600, 000 children below the age of five are killed annually by air pollution. The report aims to cut pollutions caused by fossil fuels. It adds to other publications published recently by the World Health Organisation and the India-based Center for Science and Environment (CSE) highlighting the adverse impact of importation of used vehicles in poor countries.

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The 2016 WHO database on particulate pollution shows that cities of Africa have already begun to breach the WHO guidelines and in many cases by several times. Cameroon, Nigeria, Uganda, Senegal, Egypt and Mauritius are among the worst affected. The highest levels of pollutant from vehicles are in Cameroonian cities (13.2 times the guideline). The UN Economic Commission of Africa estimates that the cost of air pollution in a number of African cities can be as high as 2.7 per cent of GDP.

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But it would appear very little is being done to address the issue, despite the fact that the 40 million vehicles found to have been approaching their end-of-life by 2013 are likely to be dumped in Africa. The number of vehicles in the world will double by 2050 according to the International Energy Agency. Many new cars will be supplied to developed countries while many old, used and close-to-being-scrapped vehicles are likely to end up in low and middle income countries like Cameroon, with far reaching health and environmental consequences.

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