Rwanda to pull polluting vehicles off roads starting January 2015

Government had given owners of non-compliant vehicles 12 months to comply with emission standards

By Jemima Rohekar
Published: Tuesday 16 December 2014

Motorcycles are one of the major modes of transport in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda (Photo courtesy: Dylan Walters/Flickr)

Rwanda’s Environmental Management Authority (REMA) has warned that motor vehicles violating emission norms will not be allowed to ply on roads starting January 2015.
Rwandan Prime Minister Pierre-Damien Habumuremyi had issued an order in December 2013, making it mandatory for all vehicles undergoing technical control to also undergo emission tests in order to contain air pollution. Owners of non-compliant vehicles were given 12 months to comply with the order. The order also required all vehicles to be equipped with catalytic converters to reduce air emissions.

REMA has partnered with Rwanda National Police to acquire new emissions testing equipments for the motor vehicle inspection centre. Traffic police officers will be authorised to conduct spot emission checks on vehicles.

The government has started public awareness campaigns on radio, TV and other media to educate people about emission requirements and urge them to comply with standards.

Agencies charged with implementing the order will also face several challenges. Of these is the lack of efficient public transport systems in major cities. This means people have to depend on motorcycles for transport. The prime minister’s order had stated that motorcycles for personal use should not be older than 5 years.

In another African country, efforts are on to encourage the use of cycles as an alternative mode of transport to decongest roads. Nigeria’s Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) is partnering with the government’s ministry of youth and sports to promote cycles as a safe and healthy means of transportation.

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