Private and public service vehicles will soon begin undergoing annual inspection to ensure they don’t release excessive exhaust fumes. The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has indicated it will begin enforcing the requirement which is contained in the air quality regulations that were gazetted in 2014, in the next 6 months.
According to the regulations, all private and public vehicles will undergo emission tests annually. Private vehicles that are over five years old will undergo the tests once every two years. The vehicles are required not to release visible fumes from their exhaust pipes or they will be forced off the road. This comes amid increasing concerns that air pollution is the main cause of deadly diseases such as heart disease, acute respiratory diseases, lung cancer and stroke among others.
The inspections will be carried out in partnership with the Kenya Bureau of Standards or accredited emission vehicle testing centers country wide. Under the regulations, NEMA can order at any time the inspection of a vehicle releasing visible exhaust emissions.
According to the regulations, no person shall cause or allow the emission of visible air pollutants from a stationary vehicle in excess of limits set out in the standards. Vehicle owners who flout the regulations will get a sh.500, 000 fine, six months in jail, or both if convicted. Among the pollutants targeted include hydro carbons, sulpher dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide among others
According to Nema’s deputy director for Environmental awareness Betty Nzioka, NEMA will soon begin public awareness in major urban centers where air quality is poorest before they start enforcing the regulations. She added that they are in the process of setting up structures to ensure the requirement is realized, including identifying accredited centers where inspection will take place.