The average price of second-hand cars in Kenya is likely to increase if President Uhuru Kenyatta’s dream to have a regional air pollution deal sees the light of day. The move calls for a reduced age limit on the used cars that are imported from abroad.

Speaking at the United Nations Environment Assembly conference in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi, Mr. Kenyatta expressed his desire to roll out the East African Framework Agreement on Air Pollution and his dedication to work to its realization. The 2008 agreement is aimed at lowering the age limit of cars thus promote a cleaner environment. The president further explained that the agreement was also another environmental safekeeping milestone the nation would achieve besides the recent ban on plastic bags. He also expressed hope that the international community would help Kenya achieve this intended plan.

In light of the agreement among member nations of the East African Community, the regional body resolved to embrace the move to reduce the age limit for imported cars to five years. Used cars are likely to be air pollutants as opposed to newer cars which still boast of higher levels of efficiency. It is this rationale that was used to reach the decision.

Different nations in East Africa have different age limits for imported cars. Kenya stands at eight years, Tanzania at ten, while Burundi, Rwanda, and South Sudan don’t have any limitations. However, the regional average age limit is at 15 to 20 years.

It is common knowledge that used cars are common among a huge number of middle-class earners. These cars are cheaper in comparison to the new cars which are unaffordable are a preserve of the wealthy few.

His Excellency the President pointed at one of the agreement’s punchline statements that regional nations to fully enact the agreement to ensure that most if not all of the imported cars have catalytic converters that are up to standard by the year 2011. Agreed minimum emission and better quality of fuel are among the thorny issues that the East African Framework Agreement on Air Pollution boldly champions for.

Matters pertaining to environment stand top on the president’s development agenda and thus explain his keen interest in the agreement. Pollution is the cause of poor health, food shortage, and destruction of aquatic life and lack of clean water, issues which the president has made his goal to tackle them. Mr. Kenyatta expressed his optimism that the ban on plastic bags was a clear indication that the fight against pollution in Kenya has taken a more aggressive turn. The fines that firms caught engaging in the production of plastic bags amount up to 4 million Kenya shillings or a 4-year prison sentence. Although it took three times, the ban is finally in place. Manufacturer’s protested that about 60000 jobs would be lost but in giving its counter-argument the Kenyans government insisted that environmental safety was a more weighty issue.