Malawi stuck with e-waste
COMPUTING| May 28, 2013, 10:23 a.m.
By Gregory Gondwe, Blantyre, Malawi
The Malawi government has conceded that it is stuck with an e-waste problem, in the face of the increasing use of electronic gadgetry, including computers and cell phones. This emerged during a Global Environment fund Southern Africa (GEF) constituency meeting in Lilongwe over the weekend.
Countries from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) were meeting in Lilongwe to discuss issues pertaining to environment in readiness for a Global Environmental Fund Council meeting that will take place in June at Washington DC, USA
At the meeting, the Director of Environmental Affairs in the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Management, Dr. Aloysius Kamperewera, told state owned Malawi News Agency (Mana) that such helplessness has also come about because government has no concrete plans of managing electronic waste.
At a global level, such wastes are regulated under the Basel Convention, to which Malawi is a party, said Kamperewera. However, at a national level, there is no concrete plan in place to deal with e-waste yet, since this is a new and emerging issue.
“It is expected that once the global guidelines are finalised, local efforts will be enhanced to ensure that robust management measures are in place,” said Kamperewera. He added that efforts are underway to develop a draft policy for e-waste under the e-government initiative as well as the Basel Convention on management of hazardous wastes.
There are no specific places designed for disposal of such wastes at present, he said.
Kamperewera said in the absence of the legal instruments the public, distributors and retailers of products that result in such waste better start collecting such products at the end of their lifespan and ship them back to original manufactures for safe disposal.
“Malawi does not yet have a proper facility for safe disposal of these products and other hazardous chemicals such as obsolete chemical,” explained Kamperewera. “Pesticides have been safely handled in such a manner through initiatives with companies, NGOs and other international organisations under the United Nations multilateral Environmental Agreements.”
Obsolete computers, cell phones and other electronic gadgets contain dangerous substances like lead, mercury and other dangerous substances which can lead to serious health hazards if not properly disposed of.
Said Kamperewera: “Chemicals management including mercury, lead, pesticides and expired drugs or obsolete chemicals is a big challenge because it is hardly prioritised for funding allocation by the City Councils or central government and yet it is very dangerous to our own health.”
MORE COMPUTING NEWS
Managed services born again in AfricaThanks to the ever-evolving nature of technology and the rapid growth of cloud services in Africa, managed services has in effect been born again, says Gondwana International Networks (GIN) and iWayAfrica. Read More
CWG, Vodacom canvass local content in ICTSmarting from the success the Local Content Act has recorded in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, CWG and Vodacom Business Nigeria have canvassed its application to the ICT industry. Read More
Teachers recognised for best use of ICTsThe MTN Foundation and Cameroon’s Ministry of Secondary Education have recognised teachers who make the best use of ICTs in education. Read More
Use ICTs to boost entrepreneurship, DRC youth toldYoung people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been told to use the information and communication technologies (ICTs) in their quest to boost their entrepreneurship initiatives. Read More
LINKZ ICT challenge getting biggerThe fourth annual Botho University LINKZ ICT challenge this year attracted a sizeable number of students from both the tertiary and secondary school students. Read More
Closing the ‘mobile’ gap in your DR strategyAs technology has evolved, vulnerabilities have opened up in many organisations’ DR strategies and infrastructure, particularly with regard to mobility, says Drive Control Corporation. Read More
Congo’s financial sector ‘falling in love’ with ICTsThe financial sector in Congo-Brazzaville seems to be falling in love thick and fast with ICTs. Read More
Adapt to ICTs or die, DRC postal service toldOn Thursday 9 October 2014, while the world was celebrating World Postal Day, a top official of Société Congolaise de Postes et Télécommunications (SCPT) dropped a bombshell, saying that the country’s postal service needed to adapt to the information and communication technologies (ICTs) if it hoped ... Read More
Partnership enables immediate delivery of cloud servicesOn the back of its partnership with cloud distributor Cloud On Demand, local cloud service provider Alto Africa has dramatically increased the speed and delivery of its shrink-wrapped cloud solutions to customers. Read More
Oracle launches capacity-building programme to close IT skills gap in AfricaOracle Corporation has announced an initiative designed to enrich and increase the skills capacity of IT practitioners in Africa. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSVMware reports third quarter 2014 results
VMware, the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, today announced Year-over-Year Revenue Growth of 18% to $1.52 Billion in its financial results for the third quarter ...