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Dumping Used Dangerous Cars in Africa

Millions of highly polluting used cars from rich countries are being “dumped” on developing nations, according to a UN report. Between 2015 and 2018, some 14 million older, poor quality vehicles were exported from Europe, Japan and the US. Four out of five were sold to poorer countries, with more than half going to Africa. Experts say that up to 80% failed to meet minimum safety and environmental standards in exporting countries. Many of the vehicles have also been tampered with to remove valuable parts. The report, published by the UN Environment Programme (Unep), says that both exporters and importers need to put tougher regulations in place to stem the flow of these cars. According to the authors, these cars are both “dangerous and dirty.” They believe these imports are responsible for increased levels of road accidents in many poorer African and Asian countries. The cars are also pumping out fine particulate matter and nitrogen oxides, which are major sources of air pollution in many cities. “In 2017, the average age of a diesel vehicle imported into Uganda was over 20 years old,” said Jane Akumu, also from Unep. “This is the same story for Zimbabwe. In fact, around 30 countries of Africa dThe growing realisation of the dangers posed by these cars has seen several importing countries stiffen their regulations. Morocco only permits cars less than five years old to be imported. Kenya also has an age limit of eight years for imported cars. On a regional level, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), representing 15 countries, has set cleaner fuel and vehicle standards from January 2021.o not have any age limit on cars. So, any kind of car of any kind of age, can come in.” As well as failing to meet road safety and environmental standards, a significant number were tampered with and had important equipment removed.