A transportation vehicle has turn over on M1 in Malawi

Nature has many free lessons for human beings but not much is learnt from it for example water flows from a higher elevation to a lower elevation by gravity and baby starts to crawl before walking. Natural things have a process they go through to become what they are. We went to school from standard one to  be what we are today. The conclusion is that everything has a humble beginning. Before Malawi attained its independence and Republican status, only very few citizens had motor cars to the extent that some of the roads in the country were designed as single lanes because the cars were moving from one direction in one day and the opposite direction the other day.

There is evidence that from the 1970s the number of cars has been increasing every year. Today car ownership is no longer a strange phenomenon requiring visitation to a witchdoctor. Even young people are buying cars. While this is an impressive achievement for Malawi, we are forgetting the negative effects of carbon dioxide that each car produces. The fact is that all the car that we see on the roads produce carbon dioxide and depending on ages, some produce carbon monoxide which is toxic.

Have we ever thought about the damage our cars are making to the environment? If our deceased grandparents had the opportunity for a visitation what would be their reaction? No doubt some wouldn’t want to stay longer because of dirty air. This is the point we must start from before we complain about the higher tax rates government has imposed on cars that are more than ten years. Government must be commended for imposing the punitive tax on old cars to minimize air pollution in our country. It is playing double standards for used international car dealers to complain about high taxes when the used cars they export to the poor countries are rejected in their own countries.

Malawi cannot be a dumping ground for old used cars simply because car ownership is considered as a status. In fact, government is also protecting us from economic exploitation. An old car has no useful life. What we buy is poverty. Therefore, let us commend our government for coming up with this tax on old cars. It will save Malawi from environmental pollution and help  the country to continue relying on agriculture as a source of food and income. The decision by government is going to cut down end of pipe air pollution. We propose that there should also be an end of pipe tax on steam boiler pipes located in factories to promote cleaner environment. And every owner of a car must have a woodlot to renew the car license.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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