New e-waste rules for Kenya

By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya’s environmental watchdog is set to enforce new regulations by December that will hold importers, assemblers, and manufacturers of electronics accountable for disposal of e-waste.

Under the rules drafted by the National Environment Management Authority (Nema), vendors will be expected to come up with ways of managing the waste, such as creating collection points or upgrading the recycling centres.

E-waste comprises hazardous elements which, if not handled properly, can have adverse impacts on the environment and human health.

A report by Unep in 2010 shows that Kenya is responsible for more than 2,500 tonnes  of e-waste from gadgets like computers, printers,  mobile phone and refrigerators.

On Wednesday, Dr Ayub Macharia, Nema’s director for environmental education, said the regulations will come into effect sometimes in December since they don’t have to go to Parliament but will be effected through the Kenya Gazette Notice by the minister.

“Offenders will pay a fine of between Sh350,000 and Sh1 million… More e-waste is expected as a result of switching off of 1.4 million counterfeit handsets and the migration to digital broadcasting,” said Dr Ayub.

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