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Africa under threat of highly polluted fuel from Europe: report

Africa under threat of highly polluted fuel from Europe: report

Switzerland

European companies are exporting highly polluted, high-sulphur diesel to African countries according to a report published by a Swiss non-governmental organisation, Public Eye.

The report dubbed dirty diesel indicates that commodity-trading firms in Switzerland have been taking advantage of weak fuel standards in Africa to produce, deliver and sell diesel and gasoline.

If left unchanged their practices will kill more and more people across the continent

The fuel which contains high levels of sulphur as well as other toxic substances is said to have an impact on peoples health.

“By selling such fuels at the pump in Africa, the traders increase outdoor air pollution, causing respiratory disease and premature death,” read an excerpt from the report.

The report further insinuates that West African countries are highly targeted because of the lack of refining capacity to produce enough gasoline and diesel for their own consumption.

Diesel samples were collected from eight countries Angola, Benin, Republic of Congo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal and Zambia.

The trading companies sampled were Trafigura, Vitol, Addax & Oryx Group and Lynx Energy.

The report called on African governments to act and set stringent fuel quality standards.

“Africa could prevent 25,000 premature deaths in 2030 and almost 100,000 premature deaths in 2050…They have the chance to protect the health of their urban population, reduce car maintenance costs, and spend their health budgets on other pressing health issues.”

In regards to Swiss trading companies exploiting weak fuel standards in Africa, the Public Eye has called on such firms to curb this practice.

“If left unchanged their practices will kill more and more people across the continent.”

According to reports, three of the companies mentioned in the findings have responded to the allegations and stated that they meet the regulatory requirements of the market.

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