The Environmental Compliance Institute hosted a workshop on Regional Experiences in Vehicle Emission Inspection and Maintenance (I&M) programs at Laico Regency Hotel in Nairobi on 28th November 2016. The event brought together experts in vehicle emission standards and I&M programs as well as policy makers and other stakeholders including government agencies, NGOs and industry players from across Africa including Botswana, Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.
The event was implemented in partnership with UN Environment (DTIE/Transport Unit) and the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV) as part of support towards helping the East Africa sub-region to initiate discussion on harmonization of vehicle emission standards in the sub-region in addition to helping Kenya among other East African countries to develop a roadmap for vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance (I&M) program. It sought to share regional experiences on vehicle emission testing and maintenance programs and develop a roadmap for implementation of vehicle emission testing and maintenance program in Kenya.
The East Africa sub-region adopted harmonized low Sulphur fuels in January 2015. At the same time, the PCFV Regulatory Toolkit was piloted within the sub-region before completion in 2014/15. The Toolkit provides a menu of options for countries to match cleaner fuels to vehicle improvements. Following this support, Rwanda adopted mandatory vehicle emission testing from January 2015. Kenya and Uganda are also planning to follow suit. For successful implementation of the toolkit within the sub-region, it is important to develop harmonized vehicle emission standards to match the harmonized fuel standards. In addition, each country in the sub-region will need to develop an effective vehicle inspection and maintenance program.
A systems approach to cleaner fuels and vehicles is expected to greatly reduce air pollution from motor vehicle emissions that are increasingly becoming a serious health problem in the sub-region. Like in many developing and transitional countries, the transport sector remains the main source of urban air pollution in East Africa, contributing to as much as 80% of urban air pollution in some cities. The key pollutant is particulate matter (PM) causing an estimated 3.2 million premature deaths annually, with the majority coming from transport emissions. The smaller part of PM, black carbon, is an important climate pollutant. PM contributes to increased respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia as well as chronic lung and heart disease, premature deaths etc. Diesel PM is especially toxic, and is now classified as carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization.
The full workshop report together with the recommendations may be accessed here.