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Used car dealers want fuel quality reviewed in pollution fight

Second-hand cars at a yard in Nairobi. file photo | nmg
Second-hand cars at a yard in Nairobi. file photo | nmg 

Second-hand car sellers want fuel quality standards reviewed before commencement of mandatory vehicle emissions testing in Kenya.

Kenya Auto-Bazaar Association (Kaba) secretary Charles Munyori said importation of poor quality fuels coupled with high incidents of fuel adulteration was a major cause of air pollution.

Mr Munyori said industry players should also be involved in formulating standards as well as determining the age limits of imported used vehicles, saying Kaba members were ready to support the government’s bid to curb air pollution.

President Uhuru Kenyatta promised at the UN that he will take a decisive stance to curb air pollution akin to the plastic bags’ ban that saw importation of polythene carrier bags making material, its manufacture, sale and use banned last August 28.

“In furthering the Agreement on Air Pollution, we hope to repeat the success we have achieved with the ban of plastic carrier bags, and we look forward to global support in this effort,” the President said.

Mr Munyori said used vehicle dealers served a different segment of customers to the new vehicle sellers, adding that better fuel for all vehicles would mean cleaner air with less harmful emissions.

Second-hand imports are highly popular with majority of middle income Kenyans as they are cheaper.

Most new vehicle dealers only focus on a few wealthy buyers, government, big companies and aid agencies. 

Mr Munyori said Kenya should ease vehicle spare parts prices to promote proper maintenance of vehicles. Costly new spare parts have spawned a thriving used spare parts market.

Currently, Kenya only allows the import of second-hand cars not older than eight years, Tanzania (10 years) while Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan have no such limits.

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