With the huge increase in the number of cars on the road, especially second hand imports from Japan, pollution in Botswana will significantly increase in the long term. This was revealed by Justin Mothei, an environmental expert from Environmental Dignity who also added that there is need for a new approach in order to address this challenge.
This revelation comes on the backdrop of a summary of the Transport and Infrastructure Statistics for Quarter 1 of 2016 which have been released by Statistics Botswana (SB). According to the report, “On quarterly basis, the data shows that as we proceed into the year the number of acquired vehicles increases; both years 2014 and 2015 show that first registrations increased from quarter to quarter”.
Mothei highlighted that an assessment of the Transport and Infrastructure Statistics report shows that 6, 712 Motor Vehicle First Registrations were recorded in Q1 2016 and these cars came from Japan. He highlighted that “pollution in Botswana is set to increase because most people are buying old cars from overseas, which smokes a lot”. He also added that Botswana is likely to record an increase in pollution of over 10% if authorities do not come up with substantive policies soon.
The SB report also states that “most of the used cars were from Japan, constituting 85.6 percent of the total used cars and most of the brand new vehicles were from South Africa making up 84.5 percent of the total brand new vehicles.
The Environmental expert also urged that a starting point would be to “restrict the age of cars being imported.” He said any further delays are likely to have catastrophic effects on the economy and health of people as it might lead to cancers and heart disease.
The number of vehicles in Botswana has been increasing at the average rate of 9.4 percent for the past 10 years.