EDITORIAL: Why should Africa accept to be a dumping ground?

A cartel of oil dealers in Western Europe are said to be behind the spate of dumping on the African continent of noxious substandard fuel. In the past, China was the bad boy of the practice, accusations that cropped up as it slowly ate into western profits.

A cartel of oil dealers in Western Europe are said to be behind the spate of dumping on the African continent of noxious substandard fuel.

In the past, China was the bad boy of the practice, accusations that cropped up as it slowly ate into western profits.

 

Many countries in Western Africa, especially former French colonies, looked no further than France to get their basic needs, even bottled water and vegetables.

 

So when China started flooding African markets with their wares, especially cheap electronic gadgets, it was not a surprise that it would come under the crosshairs of market losers.

 

But why should Africa be the whipping boy of unscrupulous traders? How does hazardous fuel enter our ports if there was no connivance with customs officials?

Do petroleum products undergo stringent standards measures as other imports? Whatever level of foul play by those behind the dumping, the blame lies squarely on the laps of African government officials who fail to do their jobs.

This dumping is also manifested in the importation of second hand cars from Europe that do not meet the emissions standards in their countries of origin.

It is time to take the health of our populations seriously and cease becoming depositories of unwanted garbage. Cleaning up contamination is more expensive than setting in place mechanisms to keep our environment pure.

But it all begins with a mindset change on the part of consumers and the quicker it is put in motion the better for future generations. They should not have to live with face masks just to keep away pollution and survive another day from a visit to the doctor.

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