Zimbabwe: Environment Agency Targets Smoking Bangers in Carbon Emissions Crackdown

The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has embarked on a massive clampdown on owners of vehicles producing hazardous exhaust emissions above regulated levels.

Since the start of the operation in the Mashonaland West province Thursday last week, 1,319 vehicles have been inspected for vehicular emissions and the compliance level was 96, 4%.

By the time of publishing, a total of 47 tickets and five environmental protection orders had been issued to motorists, who own or were operating vehicles in such a manner as to cause air pollution.

Speaking during a media tour Monday, EMA Mashonaland West provincial manager, Rambwai Mapako said his organisation has been testing vehicle exhaust emissions along strategic points along highways since February 2, 2023, which marked World Wetlands Day.

The exercise runs until next week covering the entire province.

“The purpose of the exhaust emissions test is to check for compliance with the exhaust emissions regulation stipulated in Statutory Instrument 72 of 2009 (Atmospheric Control Regulations) as read with the Environmental Management Act Cap 20:27.

“Vehicle emissions are known worldwide to be the cause of about 22% of atmospheric pollution, which prematurely kills about seven million people annually across the globe due to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases,” Mapako told journalists.

He highlighted major pollutants of concern included carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and methane.

“These are known to be greatest contributors of global warming challenge.

“As an agency and as Mashonaland West in particular, we need to ensure we play our part in the pollution abatement and making a contribution towards attainments of a clean, safe and a healthy environment in line with the national development agenda for a clean society and green or sustainable development.

“As EMA we passionately appeal to vehicle owner or operators to continuously ensure that their vehicles are serviced regularly and desist from refuelling at illegal fuel dealers as the fuel quality may have been tempered with,” added the EMA provincial head.

Mapako reiterated air pollution was one major threat to a sustainable environment, and EMA “should be seen playing ball.”

“The importance of the environment is derived from the sustainable agenda of the country. You can never talk of a growing economy without addressing issues of environmental sustainability.

“In order to promote that culture of sustainability, the media plays a very important role,” said Mapako.