28th March 2019
The National E-Waste Management Strategy, a five-year plan covering 2019 to 2024, has been rolled out.
We have a crisis on our hands. And it is a crisis that is only bound to grow worse unless very drastic, deliberate measures are taken to deal with it. First things first; what is e-waste? E-waste refers to all electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and their parts that have been discarded by the owners as waste without the intent of re-use although those destined for reuse or recycling are also classified as e-waste.
Mobile handsets, universal remote, cameras, PCs, minicomputers and all sorts of electronics have flooded our markets. Virtually all of these are imported from elsewhere which means real jobs exist primarily in the markets of origin with developing economies relegated to a mere consumption role.
There is limited transfer of technical skills. We purchase, use, dump and buy new ones. Some of the devices are so poor in quality that they cannot be recycled or put to any other use once they expire. Governments have, in a way, aided the e-waste crisis by championing universal affordable access to information and communication technology without putting in place measures that ensure safe disposal. It is therefore heartwarming that the Kenya government, through the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, has taken the first steps towards a comprehensive e-waste strategy. Read more