Malawi stuck with e-waste

COMPUTING

|
Image: By BiztechAfrica
Malawi stuck with e-waste

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.”



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE COMPUTING NEWS

Seagate ships world's first 8TB hard drives

Seagate Technology has announced it is shipping the world’s first 8TB hard disk drive.  Read More

Myth-busting the cloud for SMEs

There are still a few myths that prevail about the risks and benefits of cloud computing, says Ivan Epstein, co-founder of Softline and CEO of Sage AAMEA. Read More

Sage CRM is Umsinsi Health Care’s engine for growth

Umsinsi Health Care, a distributor of medical products, has enhanced customer service and streamlined its business processes by implementing Sage CRM as its customer relationship management platform.  Read More

Africa risks ‘new digital divide’

According to the WEF Global Information Technology Report 2014, a more solid ICT infrastructure and improving the framework conditions for innovation and entrepreneurship will be crucial to avoid the emergence of a new digital divide in Africa. Read More

VMware delivers new innovations for the open, agile, secure software-defined data centre

Industry’s most complete software-defined data centre portfolio helps customers slash CAPEX by nearly 50 percent and improve IT productivity by 100 percent or more. Read More

Gartner: CIOs must embrace digital ethics

The need for CIOs to consider digital ethics has become paramount as the pace of technology change accelerates, says Gartner. Read More

The blueprint for BYOD success

Just like mobile analytics, big data, the internet, and social networks changed the way companies do business, so the adoption of mobile devices has become a catalyst for change in corporations and SMEs, says SAP Africa. Read More

Orange, GESCI to train teachers on ICTs in education

Orange Telkom Kenya CEO Mickael Ghossein and GESCI Country Project Manager Esther Mwiyeria Orange has partnered with the Global E-Schools and Communities Initiative (GESCI) to support e-learning and integration of ICT in education. Read More

Cisco: the ICT behind the Commonwealth Games

240km of fibre underpins the most connected Games ever to a wealth of bandwidth, says Cisco. Read More

Ghana to benefit from Solar Powered Internet School project

Ghana is soon to benefit from Samsung's Solar Powered Internet School project, which is taking ICTs to schools across Africa. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

Safaricom-Equity battle for mobile banking hots up Safaricom-Equity battle for mobile banking hots up

Equity bank's entry to the mobile banking and telephony industry is still hanging in the balance with London-based global association of mobile operators (GSMA) calling for independent audit. 

IN DEPTH

Kenya rolls out e-extension to improve agricultureKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture

In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.