Moto-taxi drivers ride electric scooters in Rwanda’s capital Kigali on Feb. 27, 2022. (Xinhua/Martina Fuchs)
Rwanda has launched a national campaign to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles as part of the country’s broader efforts to promote a carbon neutral economy.
KIGALI, March 26 (Xinhua) — The Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) has launched a national campaign to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles as part of the country’s broader efforts to promote a neutral economy in carbon.
Rwandan car and motorbike drivers, as well as machine owners, are called upon to be part of the solution to air pollution by maintaining their vehicles, avoiding unnecessary travel, turning off their idle engines and buying electric and hybrid vehicles, according to a REMA statement released earlier this week.
“Rwanda has set up a national monitoring system that provides real-time air quality data at 23 sites across the country. The system highlights the main air pollutants responsible for air quality degradation. air, and most of these pollutants are linked to emissions from vehicles and machinery using fossil fuels such as gas and diesel,” said Juliet Kabera, Managing Director of REMA.
She called on owners of fossil fuel vehicles to maintain their vehicles regularly, use fuels that meet national standards and switch from fossil fuel vehicles to electric vehicles whenever possible to ensure clean air for all.
Kabera said the number of vehicles on Rwanda’s roads is expected to double by 2030, which will lead to increased air pollution.
A worker changes the battery of a motorcycle driver in Rwanda’s capital Kigali, Feb. 27, 2022. (Xinhua/Martina Fuchs)
The campaign, titled “Healthy Vehicle, Clearer Skies,” encourages owners to maintain their vehicles and machinery regularly and to purchase only high-quality fuel.
During the campaign, mobile emissions tests will be carried out in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, and in the district towns of Huye, Rwamagana, Musanze and Rubavu, the statement said.
The public will also be engaged through radio and television talk shows, and encouraged to share their personal efforts to hashtag #BeatAirPollution on social media.
“The contribution of vehicles to ambient air pollution in the city cannot be ignored. All motor vehicles in Rwanda must undergo inspection and emissions testing at the Motor Vehicle Inspection Centre,” said Rwanda National Police spokesman John Bosco Kabera said in the statement, adding that vehicles that do not meet applicable emissions standards are not allowed to drive in the country.
The campaign is a joint initiative of the Rwandan Ministry of Environment, REMA, Rwanda Standards Board, Rwanda Space Agency and Rwanda National Police.
Rwanda’s first biennial update report under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 2021, as well as the third national communication in 2018 both indicate that the country’s greenhouse gas emissions from road transport were dominated by cars and motorcycles.
According to a 2017 report by REMA, vehicle emissions are the main contributor to poor air quality in Rwanda’s cities.
In Rwanda, more than 2,200 deaths were attributed to ambient air pollution in 2012 and the number of hospitalizations for acute respiratory infections in health centers across the country rose to 3,331,300 in 2015 from 1,682 321 in 2012, according to REMA. ■