The huge demand for used imported vehicles and poor restrictions are causing traffic congestion and worsening air quality in most cities in Africa, environmental experts say.
Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) director Anumita Rayochowdhury told African journalists at the first India-Africa Dialogue on air quality and mobility that the unfettered importation of used vehicles mainly for Asia, Europe and America had made controlling traffic congestion and improving air quality in Africa and India difficult.
“India and Africa share the same problems and we have to share experiences to find solutions to the problem of air pollution,” she said.
“Nairobi, Dehli and other cities in the South need second generation action, including technology leapfrog, scaling up of public transport, integrated multimodal transport options, car restraints and walking for clean air.”
The dialogue, which was organised by CSE and the Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (MESHA-Kenya), sought to raise the understanding of experiences of cities in India and Africa on air pollution among journalists.
Environmentalists at the dialogue said the rapid expansion in the vehicle population, mining and manufacturing and higher energy demand have resulted in high emission rates of major air pollutants resulting in a deterioration of the ambient air quality.