Swiss oil companies who were shamed for selling Africa toxin-laden fuel are shifting the dirty fuel blame to African governments.
The Swiss oil companies have denied any contribution on their part to the escalation of respiratory diseases caused by vehicles and refineries churning out ‘dirty gas/fuel’ in Africa.
Public Eye, a watchdog group, had previously criticised the European companies of intentionally selling oil with low quality to Africans. This bad oil and fuels, in turn, harm the environment and eventually lead to health problems caused by air pollution.
Public Eye particularly accused BP of Britain, Trafigura, and Vitol of Switzerland as the guilty party. Their victims were reported to be the markets in Ghana, Benin, Angola, Congo-Brazzaville, Mali, Zambia and Ivory Coast.
Trafigura has been named and shamed quite a number of times. In 2006, the Swiss oil company was accused of dumping toxic waste in Ivory Coast city, Abidjan.
Lynx Energy and Addax & Oryx Group were not exempt from the whistleblowing. Public Eye accused their gas stations in Africa of distributing low-grade fuel.
However, these organisations believe the problem lies with African governments.
“What is very clear is that the role of improving fuel quality in Africa clearly rests with African governments, not with fuel suppliers,” African Refiners Association, a representative of the traders, said in a letter of defence obtained by the Associated Press.
Public Eye’s charges come from three years of inspecting African fuel shipments, as well as investigating the quality of the fuel used on the continent.
Although there are African countries with an abundance of crude oil, the lack of facilities to refine this product causes them to export to European countries, which eventually export some of the refined oil to Africa.