Written by WALLACE MAWIRE
Monday, 17 May 2010 15:24
...as Zimbabwe becomes a dumping ground for used cars
HARARE - Zimbabwe's Environmental Management Agency (EMA) is ready to start monitoring pollution emitted by vehicles in the country to meet world atmospheric control regulations.
EMA Education and Awareness Manager Steady Kangata, said they had at the beginning of April, deployed a team to South Africa to source the equipment needed for the monitoring exercise.
They had set up offices in every district and province in the country.
He said motorists will have their cars tested for pollution. This will be done using mobile equipment, which will be fitted on the exhaust of a vehicle and the driver asked to rev the car to determine the pollution levels.
Kangata said motorists should leave a reasonable distance when they are driving to avoid health risks associated with vehicle pollution.
He said every citizen had the right to a clean, safe and wholesome environment.
The EMA programme had two facets, which involved stationery and mobile monitoring. The stationery monitoring focused on industrial emissions from factories while the mobile monitoring was for vehicles.
He said in monitoring factories, comprehensive surveys of the type of gases produced and their concentrations will be done, and premises issued with licenses.
He said the licenses should be produced when needed by enforcement agencies, failure of which will lead to a fine or in extreme cases, lead to a close down of operations.
So far 64 licenses had been registered.
The mobile monitoring of motor vehicles will not require licensing.
Kangata said this may involve mounting roadblocks to test vehicle emissions.
Excessive emissions will result in a fine or impounding of a vehicle.
Repeat offenders will be prosecuted and may face imprisonment of up to three months.
He said the control of emissions had come in the wake of the rising concerns about the impacts of global warming and climate change.
He added that vehicle emissions remained prevalent and had become a major source of pollution in Zimbabwe.
The problem was worsened by the fact that most countries were using Zimbabwe as a dumping ground for used vehicles.
"The EMA is now out in full force to make sure that vehicular emissions are reduced," warned Kangata.
He also warned against the burning of worn out tyres to recycle the wire. He said the practice was prevalent in the Sunningdale and Willowvale areas, where thick clouds of heavy smoke from the burning tyres, was a common sight.
"Every citizen has a responsibility to act in a manner that protects the environment for the benefit of the present and future generations," he said.
He said it was therefore important to ensure to ensure regular maintenance of vehicles, which did not only help to reduce pollution but resulted in personal savings in terms of fuel.
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