Malawi stuck with e-waste
COMPUTINGBy BiztechAfrica - 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
Teachers get Better Ghana Agenda laptopsA total of 2,331 Better Ghana Agenda laptop computers have now been presented to teachers who completed the Rlg ICT training under the Basic school Computerisation Project in the Central Region. Read More
Kenya private schools gear up for connected classroomsKenya’s private schools, in conjunction with technology companies Microsoft, Intel, Safaricom and Mitsumi, have partnered to take affordable gadgets and learning solutions to all private schools across the country. Read More
Huawei Technologies Zambia gives K263, 000 to charitable organisationsMore effective corporate social responsibility programmes are needed to help struggling communities in Zambia, according to Huawei Technology Zambia. Read More
Cisco unveils top 6 global tech trendsCisco has unveiled what it predicts will be the top six technology trends in the foreseeable future. Read More
Frost & Sullivan lauds ZTE Green Power solutionsFrost & Sullivan has recognised ZTE Corporation with the 2013 Africa Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Leadership, for its power solutions addressing many of the challenges facing the African continent. Read More
Choosing the best printer for your business needsHeinrich Pretorius, OKI Product Specialist at DCC, advises on choosing an office printer. Read More
MasterCard enters seven new markets in AfricaMasterCard today announced its expansion into seven new markets across Central and West Africa, increasing its acceptance footprint across the continent and securing a number of strategic agreements. Read More
Cloudy with a chance of dataThe cloud has shifted from a vague concept to a much needed solution that’s influencing the evolution of the business, says Andrew Oldfield, Director Emerging Markets, Panduit. Read More
Server Load Balancing makes sense for the SMB tooThe business case for server load balancing makes sense for small and medium businesses, says Desmond Pillay, Africa Sales Country Manager at KEMP Technologies. Read More
Microsoft invests $75m in Nigeria, South Africa, othersMicrosoft says it has invested $75 million in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and other African countries. Read More
FEATURED STORYMACRA demystifies spectrum management
Malawi's regulator explains the issues around spectrum allocation. Gregory Gondwe reports.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHYouthConnekt launches Mobile Apps for Human Development Challenge in Rwanda
Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and ICT and the UNDP, in close collaboration with Motorola Solutions, will power a Mobile App Challenge that will be implemented by YouthConnekt.