By Sharon Atieno
Kenyans urged to embrace safe disposal of electronic waste, as they joined the world in marking the second International E-waste Day.
Kenya generates around 40,000 tonnes of e-waste annually with only one percent of it being collected for safe recycling. The rest finds it way in the environment contributing to land, air and water pollution.
Though the World Health Organization (WHO) notes that e-waste results in development of serious health complications, children are deemed more vulnerable as they are still growing and require more intake of air, water and food compared to adults.
Dr. Tom Musili, Founder and Chair of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Centre- an e-waste recycling organization- said that though the company has a capacity to handle 75 tonnes of e-waste per month, they handle around 25 tonnes because of the low volume of incoming e-waste.
Speaking at the ceremony held at the WEEE Centre, he noted that the low volume was as a result of consumers not making use of the disposal points as most opt to store the unused or obsolete equipment while others throw them away alongside other waste.
Several companies and organizations have put up e-waste disposal points including Safaricom, WEEE Centre, Communication’s Authority and National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) which are open to the public.
“I urge the public to make use of these drop off points to ensure their e-waste is disposed off safely,” said the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry, Keriako Tobiko, in his keynote speech which was read by the Ministry’s Chief Administartive Secretary, Mohammed Elmi.
The disposal points receive all electronic devices which have reached end of life, are overtaken by technology or no longer in use, ranging from personal equipment such as phones, computers, and chargers to larger household appliances. After reception the e-waste is taken to recycling companies where some of the equipment are recycled, refurbished or destroyed.
The international E-waste Day marked on 14th October was developed in 2018 with the aim of raising the public profile of e-waste recycling and encouraging consumers to engage in safe and proper e-waste management practices.