Africa, a place of discharge for old cars that no longer have a place in Europe

Port d’Abidjan : débarquement des voitures d’occasion venant d’Europe le 14 mars 2016. JACQUES TORREGANO / DIVERGENCE 


Each cargo ship coming from a European port that meets an African port, unloads polluting vehicles that are no longer needed in Europe

Each arrival of a cargo ship in one of Africa’s ports lands old vehicles that no longer have permission to stay on the European continent. These wrecks of all brands arrive on the continent after having rendered a good and loyal service in Europe. They are vehicles often out of age, highly pollutant, and they come with other evils like asbestos for example, whose future users are unaware of their consequences.

They arrive as a flock on the continent because they have become highly polluting and no longer meet the standard of pollution standards required by the majority of European countries. They join Africa while continuing to dump what remains of their nitrogen oxide, toxic gas, that are responsible for several deaths each year. One can imagine the dangerousness of this gas when we know that Volkswagen, in the case of “dieselgate” has paid billions of dollars in fines in the US, this for lies about the real pollution levels of its vehicles.

These vehicles without catalytic converters are responsible for air pollution in African cities. The OECD report states that between 1990 and 2013, the total number of annual deaths from ambient air pollution by ambient particulates is, at least , partly a consequence of road transport. This phenomenon is also increasing[1].

The OECD estimates the cost of this pollution-related mortality at billions of dollars. The report states: “For Africa as a whole, the estimated economic cost of these prematured deaths is about $ 215 billion for outdoor air pollution in 2013 …”[2].

We must not forget that Africa is on the planet earth, accept to send these old vehicles is not reasonable because we are all responsible for the bill of pollution. But, on the other hand, can we search and find solutions to send to Africa low-emission or non-polluting vehicles? Better economic development in the South should allow the necessary expenditure.





[2] Idem

A propos de Etienne GON

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