The export of second-hand vehicles by developed nations to the impoverished nation of Benin is adding to the environmental woes, even as demand for them remains very high in the country due to the huge difference in prices between second-hand cars and new ones.
Second-hand automobiles are becoming very popular in Benin. Some of the cars sold here hit the roads 18 years ago and have been shipped to Benin where they can find a prospective buyer.
An imported Sedan which is typically a 15-year-old cost $2300 in Benin whereas the price of buying a new car could be extremely high which may cost a dozen times more.
But this has also raised many eyebrows of environmentalists who think this can have a very adverse effect on the environment. Undoubtedly second-hand cars are big polluters which undermine efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
Any vehicle which is typically 10 years is resold, and cannot have the same low pollution level as the new one.
Conservationist says that pollution generated by these vehicles is a major concern. Old cars together with poor quality fuels used in Western Africa have been blamed for worsening air pollution.
Due to low income, many in the country cannot afford to buy a new vehicle, especially an electric vehicle sold by dealers.
It’s about raising awareness so that air pollution can be reduced created as a result of these vehicles coming from Europe and America. According to the United Nations, more than a quarter of second-hand autos exported between 2015 and 2020, or 5.6 million vehicles, have ended up on the continent.
These vehicles come mainly from Europe and Japan but are often very old and are high pollution models.
There is trade nexus between Nigeria, Benin, Togo, and Niger for these old vehicles which is only worsening the situation even as the common vehicles buyers find it very lucrative.