Is Africa becoming the world’s dumping ground for dirty diesel vehicles?

Posted: July 27, 2018 by oldbrew in atmosphere, Emissions, pollution, Travel

Nairobi traffic


It’s debatable whether air quality was top class in many African cities before the arrival of these old diesels, but they aren’t doing much to improve it.

As emission regulations become stronger for new vehicles in industrialized countries, cars as old as 25 years no longer able to meet emission standards are being exported to Africa.

Air quality is suffering as a result, reports DW.com.

Any child playing at the Uhuru garden — a recreation park in the middle of the Kenyan capital Nairobi — is oblivious to the health dangers in the air around him or her. But that air is laden with toxic pollutants, which have become a leading cause of respiratory disease in Kenyan cities.

According to the World Health Organization, 15,000 children under five died each day in 2016 due to respiratory disease.

But the vehicles that contribute a large part of that pollution trace a long path to Africa.

As emission regulations become stricter in the European Union, Japan, and the United States, cars no longer able to meet current standards are exported to other regions, including Africa.

In Africa, 25 countries have placed a maximum age limit on used car imports. But due to weak enforcement, cars as old as 25 years are sold in Africa.

A recent report from New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment indicates that Germany and China account for 14 percent of car imports to Africa, while Japan and the US account for 15 percent.

As the population in African cities grows, unreliable public transport systems mean demand for cars is increasing. But low purchasing power, lack of stringent emission controls, and poor fuel quality have contributed to an influx of used cars that have been pushed out of industrialized countries by more stringent emission rules.

Dieselgate goes global

The Dieselgate scandal was unearthed in late 2015 when German automaker Volkswagen was found to have intentionally programmed its diesel engines to show lower-than-actual emission of pollutants.

Installed software allowed Volkswagen cars to meet the emission standards during laboratory testing. However, on the road, the same cars emitted up to 40 times more nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen oxides (NOx), a major air pollutant.

In the wake of the Dieselgate scandal, the European Union introduced stringent measures to ensure cars comply with the EU emission standards.
. . .
Gerphas Opondo, executive director of the Nairobi-based Environmental Compliance Institute, warns that the transport sector is becoming a major source of air pollution in African cities.

“Cities in Africa have high particulate matter, hydrogen oxide, hydrocarbon, and carbon monoxide concentrations, recorded along busy roads and intersections,” he explained.

Apart from deaths due to air pollution, many more are sickened.

Continued here.

Comments
  1. Ken Mitchell says:

    It hasn’t been all that long ago that old polluting trucks from Japan were commonly shipped to the Philippines, where they didn’t much care how badly they ran, as long as they DID run. Sounds like Africa is now the graveyard of old trucks.

    And let’s face it; the price difference between a new, low-pollution truck in Japan or the USA, and a old, smoking-engine piece of junk is enormous.

  2. ivan says:

    According to the World Health Organization, 15,000 children under five died each day in 2016 due to respiratory disease.

    I assume that figure includes those that have died because the families have been forced to cook over open fires due to the lack of cheap reliable electricity. The electricity being denied because of UN policies based on Agenda 21/30.

    The other thing, where is the actual evidence that the tighter emission controls actually mean anything? It appears that particles produced by wear of brake pads and tyre contact with the road now exceed that produced by diesel engines. As for NOx emissions, that is a function of driving regulations and city layouts.

  3. oldbrew says:

    The older diesels have no particulate filters, and others that do have them are quite likely to be clogged up by the time they get to Africa.

  4. Dave Ward says:

    “Others that do have them are quite likely to be clogged up by the time they get to Africa”

    And will be one of the first things to be removed when they arrive! They won’t run the risk of failing the new, tougher, MOT as they would in the UK…

  5. oldbrew says:

    “Cities in Africa have high particulate matter, hydrogen oxide, hydrocarbon, and carbon monoxide concentrations, recorded along busy roads and intersections,” he explained.

    ‘Hydrogen oxide’ should probably read ‘nitrous oxide’.

  6. Phoenix44 says:

    15,000 a day is five and a half million a year.

    Malaria kills “only” 800 under fives a day and 3,000 children a day.

    Either the WHO has a typo or you do.

  7. Phoenix44 says:

    And if you look here

    http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/kenya-life-expectancy

    You can see that this a total non-story as the things that kill Kenyans are poor water, infections and road traffic accidents. It also shows that life expectancy has increased from 58 in 1980 to 67 now, despite the ravages of HIV/AIDS.

  8. oldbrew says:

    Phoenix – the DW report does say 15,000 but possibly 1,500 is more realistic.

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive life­threatening lung disease that causes breathlessness (initially with exertion) and predisposes to exacerbations and serious illness.

    The Global Burden of Disease Study reports a prevalence of 251 million cases of COPD globally in 2016.

    Globally, it is estimated that 3.17 million deaths were caused by the disease in 2015 (that is, 5% of all deaths globally in that year).

    http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease-(copd)

    However the WHO says the primary cause is tobacco smoke.

    (3.17 million deaths were caused by the disease in 2015 = about 8,700 per day — all ages)

  9. oldbrew says:

    For their next trick…

    Carmakers accused of inflating new emissions results
    30/07/18

    Manufacturers are manipulating results of new CO2 emissions tests, in a bid to make targets due in 2025 less stringent, according to reports by Transport & Environment.

    The independent campaign group says that manufacturers are set to take a short term hit in WLTP emissions results – at a time when there is increased confusion due to the retesting of models from NEDC to the new regulations.

    This is because EU regulations have given an average CO2 emissions target of 95 g/km by 2021. However, the 2025 target is not a fixed number, but a 15% cut over the manufacturers’ 2021 figures, so higher average CO2 emissions in 2021 will allow for a higher figure in 2025.

    https://www.nextgreencar.com/news/8455/carmakers-accused-of-inflating-emissions-results/

  10. Russ Wood says:

    One big problem, in South Africa at least, is that the oil refineries are ageing and cannot produce the low sulphur fuel needed for modern diesel engines. So, the only ones that WORK are the old-style emitters.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s