Battery firms decry scrap metal exports

Guy Jack
Associated Battery Manufacturers East Africa Limited managing director Guy Jack. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU 

Automotive battery manufacturers want surveillance intensified at border points to tame unscrupulous traders from exporting scrap metal to Uganda and Tanzania.

The manufacturers rely on lead extracted and recycled from used batteries to make the batteries.

Associated Battery Manufacturers Group MD Guy Jack said dwindling supplies paint a bleak future that could lead to job cuts.

“The used lead-acid batteries are finding their way to Uganda and Tanzania through porous borders where lead is recovered and exported to the Far East for the manufacture of automotive and solar batteries,” he said.

ABM, the makers of Chloride Exide batteries, said used battery supplies dropped to 900 tonnes in December 2019 from an average of 1,600 tonnes per month over the past two years.