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To tackle the indiscriminate handling/management and disposal of used oil, a major contaminant of the ecosystem, Total Ethiopia is partnering with the Addis Ababa institute of Technology (AAiT) to begin a recycling study aimed at ensuring a cleaner environment.

The one million birr study which is fully funded by Total should be completed in one year. The first phase of the study is complete and second and the third phase will be carried out by focusing on what methods should be applied when disposing of used oil.

Traditionally second-hand oil is used to kill mosquitoes in some parts of rural Ethiopia. This is done by pouring some oil into the water so that the mosquitoes become stuck. Now a new study will try to recycle oil for lubricants. Managing director of Total Ethiopia Lassina Toure said the goal of the study is to protect the environment by figuring out the best way to recycle oil.

“Currently the increased number of vehicles and expansion of processing industries means more used oil is being generated in Ethiopia but there is no compressive used oil management in place. Thus, it is important to formulate a comprehensive used oil management system to minimize the adverse effect of used oil on the environment  and health while at the same time benefiting from the proper utilization of used oil as a valuable resource,’’ he said.

He added that used oil is dumped onto the ground or into drains, with no one bothering about its adverse effects on the environment and human health.

Improperly disposed oil can contaminate drinking water and harm aquatic animal and plant life, by depriving them of nutrients and oxygen.

Esayas G/Yohannes , Executive Director of AAiT said the study will require the collaboration of private and government stakeholders.

“We are determined to put an end to the contamination of the ecosystem as a result of used oil through a beneficial recycling system that is meant to make the environment cleaner. With oil companies and government collaboration the study will be beneficial.’’

In Africa, besides exploration and production as well as renewable energy projects, Total is active across the entire petroleum product supply including service station networks and general retail. The company is said to have 18 percent market share on the continent and serve 1.8 million customers from its 4,200 stations. In Ethiopia, Total has 173 service stations.