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E-Waste Management in Kenya: Challenges and Opportunities

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The production and use of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) continues to grow in both developing and developed countries therefore increasing the amount of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) at its End-of-Life (EoL). This is exacerbated by the rapid growth and development in the Information and Communications Technology industry. The growth in WEEE has brought a number of challenges including introducing effective management practices that are environmentally sound to reduce its negative impact on human health and the environment as a result of pollution. Management of WEEE in most developing countries including Kenya is done through the informal sector and this poses a great challenge. There are a number of International conventions that have been formulated to deal with the issue of WEEE due to its hazardous nature. The main aim of this research was to establish the current trends, opportunity and challenges in the management of e-waste in Kenya and make recommendations on measures to be taken to effectively manage or mitigate the effects of WEEE proliferation in Kenya. The ICT industry in Kenya is growing at a very fast rate leading to drastic increase in WEEE. The greatest challenges facing Kenya in the management of WEEE include: low citizen awareness, lack of proper policy and legislative framework including public procurement and disposal laws, inadequate infrastructure for WEEE management; high cost of brand new EEE, absence of frameworks for End-of-Life (EoL) product take-back and implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).
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Vol. 6, No. 12 December 2015 ISSN 2079-8407
Journal of Emerging Trends in Computing and Information Sciences
©2009-2015 CIS Journal. All rights reserved.
http://www.cisjournal.org
661
E-Waste Management in Kenya: Challenges and Opportunities
1 Ibrahim Otieno, 2 Elijah Omwenga
1,2 University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
ABSTRACT
The production and use of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) continues to grow in both developing and developed
countries therefore increasing the amount of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) at its End-of-Life (EoL).
This is exacerbated by the rapid growth and development in the Information and Communications Technology industry.
The growth in WEEE has brought a number of challenges including introducing effective management practices that are
environmentally sound to reduce its negative impact on human health and the environment as a result of pollution.
Management of WEEE in most developing countries including Kenya is done through the informal sector and this poses a
great challenge. There are a number of International conventions that have been formulated to deal with the issue of WEEE
due to its hazardous nature. The main aim of this research was to establish the current trends, opportunity and challenges in
the management of e-waste in Kenya and make recommendations on measures to be taken to effectively manage or
mitigate the effects of WEEE proliferation in Kenya. The ICT industry in Kenya is growing at a very fast rate leading to
drastic increase in WEEE. The greatest challenges facing Kenya in the management of WEEE include: low citizen
awareness, lack of proper policy and legislative framework including public procurement and disposal laws, inadequate
infrastructure for WEEE management; high cost of brand new EEE, absence of frameworks for End-of-Life (EoL) product
take-back and implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).
Keywords: E-waste, WEEE, challenges, opportunities, Kenya
1. INTRODUCTION
The term e-waste was first introduced in the
1970s and 1980s following the environmental degradation
as a result of hazardous products imported to developing
countries [1]. The production and use of Electrical and
Electronic Equipment (EEE) continues to grow in the
developing countries and world-wide therefore increasing
the amount of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
(WEEE) at its End-of-Life (EoL) ([7]; [9]). The rapid
growth and development in the Information and
Communications Technology industry has exacerbated
the situation with proliferation of computers and mobile
devices to address the rising demand. Osibanjo & Nnorom
[6] contend that owing to the dynamic nature of the ICT
industry, the size and computational capacity of ICT
products has been going through tremendous
improvement, but has consequently decreased the lifespan
of these products and led to their quick obsolescence. This
growth has brought with it a number of challenges
including management of e-waste subsequently produced
and which has negative impact on human health and the
environment as a result of pollution.
Osibanjo & Nnorom [6] and Schluep et al. [8]
postulate that most of the e-waste produced in developing
countries is managed by the informal sector through crude
means such as product reuse, crude ‘backyard’ recycling,
disposal in landfills and burning in open fields. It is
evident that some of the EEE produce highly toxic
materials that when not disposed in an environmentally
sound manner may cause harmful effects to human life
and the environment. Research shows that computers,
mobile devices and television sets will contribute
approximately 9.8 million tons in e-waste stream by 2015
[1]. This increase in e-waste stream has brought a major
concern to governments, environmental institutions and
individual researchers because the hazardous effect it has
on human health and environmental degradation is highly
significant.
ICT and other EEE are relatively expensive in
the developing countries comparative to developing
countries considering the poverty levels, purchasing
power and low income per capita of the citizens of the
developing countries. This has led to a high demand for
and consumption of second-hand EEE. Some of these
equipments are old and have almost reached their End-of-
Life (EoL) and are usually imported illegally under the
pretext of bridging the “digital divide”. The products are
normally imported without confirmatory testing for
functionality [6] and majority of them end up being
WEEE because they are unusable or cannot serve the
intended purpose. The main problem is that the storage,
collection, transfer and disposal of WEEE in developing
countries has not been streamlined and managed in an
effective manner to ensure re-use; conservation of the
environment; and safety of the people involved. The
infrastructure and resources required to manage WEEE
and non-existent or ineffective.
E-waste, Electronic Waste, or Waste of Electrical
and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) has many definitions
by various researchers. Asiimwe & Ake [1] define e-
waste as electronic equipment that is considered to be
hazardous and do not, in their functional state, serve any
purpose to any intending user unless the equipment has
been refurbished. It includes computers and their
peripherals, consumer electronics, electrically powered
components which are valuable, but hazardous and may
require special handling and recycling methods. WEEE
may also include some second hand products which are
exported to developing countries after they have reached
their End-of-Life (EoL) and do not have meaningful use.
1
iotieno@uon
bi.ac.ke
,
2
eomwenga
Vol. 6, No. 12 December 2015 ISSN 2079-8407
Journal of Emerging Trends in Computing and Information Sciences
©2009-2015 CIS Journal. All rights reserved.
http://www.cisjournal.org
662
Schluep et al. [9] define WEEE as equipment
that is no longer suitable for use and is intended for
dismantling, recovery of spare parts or is destined for
material recovery and recycling or final disposal.
According to Directive 2012/19/EU, WEEE
means electrical or electronic equipment that is waste,
including all components, subassemblies and
consumables that are part of the product at the time of
discarding the waste. According to EU categories, WEEE
can be classified into 10 main categories as indicated in
Table 1 below.
Table 1: WEEE categories according to the EU directive
No
Category
Label
1
Large household appliances
Large HH
2
Small household appliances
Small HH
3
IT & telecommunications equipment
ICT
4
Consumer equipment
CE
5
Lighting equipment
Lighting
6
Electrical and electronic tools (with exception
of large stationary industrial tools)
E&E tools
7
Toys, leisure and sports equipment
Toys
8
Medical devices (with the exception of all
implanted and infected products)
Medical equipment
9
Monitoring and control instrument
M&C
10
Automatic Dispensers
Dispensers
Due to the hazardous nature of e-waste and
transboundary movement of WEEE, a number of
conventions, regulations, policies and guidelines have
been put in place to manage this menace. There are two
main International Conventions regulating waste
management: the Basel and Bamako conventions ([4]; [1];
[9]; [7]). The Basel convention was put in place in 1992 to
control the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes
and their disposal. In 2006, the convention adopted new
guidelines on Environmentally Sound Management
(ESM) of used and end-of-life mobile phones. The
Bamako convention on the ban of the imports into Africa
and the control of trans-boundary movement of hazardous
wastes into Africa came to force in 1998. Kenya is a
signatory to both conventions and many other nations
have since become parties to this convention.
Asiimwe & Ake [1] conducted a research on the
conceived role of the East African Community (EAC)
governments in combating negative impacts of e-waste.
The results of the study indicate that the EAC
governments consider e-waste to be an emerging problem,
but despite awareness by governments and attempts to
mitigate the problem, there are no proposed realistic,
immediate and tangible solutions that can solve the
problem in the near future.
2. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
The objective of this research is to establish the
current trends, opportunity and challenges in the
management of e-waste in Kenya. Moreover, the research
also intends to study the landscape and make
recommendations on measures to be taken to effectively
manage or mitigate the effects of e-waste proliferation in
Kenya. The main goal of the research is to enlighten
policy makers and government agencies on the steps that
need to be taken to effectively manage WEEE in
environmentally sound ways and seize the available
opportunities. The study will inform policy and guide
implementers on possible mechanisms of enforcement.
The academia, civil society, donors and sponsors
of e-waste management projects will also benefit from the
knowledge generated.
3. METHODOLOGY
In this paper, the researchers perform an
exploratory study and analysis of the current e-waste
management trends in the Kenyan landscape, identifies
challenges and opportunities with the aim of
contextualizing and making sound recommendations on
how to address emerging issues in WEEE management.
We will not be collecting and analyzing data at
this stage.
4. E-WASTE MANAGEMENT IN KENYA
The ICT industry in Kenya has been growing
fairly fast rate compared to other countries in the East
African region. The removal of tax levies on computers;
promotion of e-learning in institutions of higher learning;
and the launch of the e-government strategy (2004) with
the aim of mainstreaming ICT in Kenya have created a
huge demand for computers and related accessories. The
situation has been complicated by the rapid expansion of
the telecommunication industry with high proliferation of
mobile devices. In 2014, Kenya had a total of 32 million
mobile subscribers as per the statistics given by
Communications Authority Kenya [2]. The number of
Internet users has also increased tremendously in Kenya
and according to the report of the Communications
Authority [2], the number of Internet users in Kenya stood
at 22 million in 2014 as indicated in Table 2 below.
Vol. 6, No. 12 December 2015 ISSN 2079-8407
Journal of Emerging Trends in Computing and Information Sciences
©2009-2015 CIS Journal. All rights reserved.
http://www.cisjournal.org
663
Figure 1:Kenya mobile subscriptions (Source: CAK, 2014)
Table 2: Kenya internet subscriptions and internet users (Source: CAK, 2014)
Internet/Data Subscriptions
Jun 14
Mar 13
Quarterly
Variation
(%)
FY
2013/14
FY
2012/13
Annual
Variation
(%)
Total Internet Subscriptions
14,030,036
13,356,415
5.0
14,030,036
12,432,308
12.9
Mobile Data/Internet Subscriptions
13,930,694
13,257,309
5.1
13,930,694
12,340,005
12.9
Terrestrial Wireless Data/Internet
Subscriptions
17,169
16,540
3.8
17,169
21,282
-19.3
Satellite Data/Internet Subscriptions
646
700
-7.7
646
1,278
-49.5
Fixed DSL Data/Internet Subscriptions
12,129
12,547
-3.3
12,129
11,512
5.4
Fixed Fibre Optic Data/Internet
Subscriptions
69,373
69,377
0.0
69,373
58,197
19.2
Fixed Cable Modem Subscriptions
25
25
0.0
25
25
0.0
Total Internet Users
22,319,684
21,679,309
3.0
22,319,684
19,654,925
13.6
Kenya imports most of its ICT products from
Britain, USA, China and Malaysia and old products are
discouraged. However, there is a considerable chunk of
old or refurbished products that are brought in through
NGOs as donations to schools and other government
institutions [1].
Mureithi & Waema [4] performed a baseline
study on e-waste in Kenya between December 2007 and
April 2008. The study estimates that the total e-waste
generated from computers, monitors and printers alone is
approximately 3,000 tonnes per year. It is envisioned that
the amount of WEEE is likely to greatly increase because
of the dynamics in the ICT industry and with the
importation of more ICT equipment to satisfy the
increasing demand. In 2010, UNEP estimated the WEEE
generated annually in Kenya at 11,400 tonnes from
refrigerators, 2,800 tonnes from TVs, 2,500 tonnes from
personal computers, 500 tonnes from printers and 150
tonnes from mobile phones [10].
However, much of the e-waste still resides in
homes, offices and storage facilities because of lack of a
proper infrastructure, policy and legislative framework
guiding the recycling, refurbishment and disposal of
WEEE in Kenya. The local informal sector on e-waste
recycling is growing with sophistication and becoming
vibrant like those of Nigeria, China and India. The
downstream vendors are dismantling WEEE and re-
selling or re-using the old parts for repairs. These are
normally done under unregulated environments without
proper regard for the safety of the people involved and the
effect on the environment. The set up where these
activities are carried out is usually informal, where there
is no legislation and workers are prone to exploitation and
poor working conditions. The main sources of parts for
the downstream vendors in Kenya are refurbishes, e-waste
recyclers and collectors in that order [4].
Locally, attempts to manage e-waste through
recycling and refurbishment programmes have been made
by firms such as Nokia, Practical Action, WEEE Centre,
and Computer for Schools Kenya (CFSK), although, most
of the WEEE is managed through the informal sector
commonly referred to as Jua Kali ([5]; [1]). Safaricom
initiated a take back scheme which failed because of
location of collection centres and lack of awareness and
incentives for consumers. The lack of proper disposal
mechanisms has resulted in most consumers holding
excessive stock of the e-waste [5].
Kenya is signatory to International conventions
including: 1) the Basel convention on control of
transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and their
disposal; 2) the Bamako convention on the ban of the
imports into Africa and the control of trans-boundary
Vol. 6, No. 12 December 2015 ISSN 2079-8407
Journal of Emerging Trends in Computing and Information Sciences
©2009-2015 CIS Journal. All rights reserved.
http://www.cisjournal.org
664
movement of hazardous wastes into Africa; 3) the Nairobi
convention which provides a mechanism for regional
(East Africa) cooperation, coordination and collaborative
actions on solving pollution problems of the coastal and
marine environment; 4) the Stockholm convention on
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs); and 5) the
Rotterdam convention on the prior informed consent
procedure for certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides
in international trade [5] .
Kenya lacks a regularity framework and a policy
for recycling and e-waste management. However, the
National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA)
in 2010 formulated guidelines for e-waste management to
assist the government, private sector, learning institutions
and other stakeholders to manage WEEE effectively and
to enhance environmental conservation. These guidelines
include approaches to enhance environmental protection;
environmental awareness; categories of e-waste and target
groups; e-waste treatment technologies; and disposal
procedures [5]. Asiimwe & Ake [1] portend that the
Kenyan ICT policy formulated by the Ministry of ICT
(Information and Communication technology) in 2006,
requires that EEE dealers demonstrate their readiness to
minimize the effects of their infrastructure on the
environment before they can have their licenses renewed
by the Communications Authority. This in effect ensures
that institutions generating e-waste have the responsibility
to conserve and protect the environment from the harmful
effects of WEEE.
The public sector suffers a major setback when it
comes to disposal of EEE as the Public Procurement and
Disposal Act which governs disposal of goods and
services in public institutions does not consider the end-
of-life effects of EEE procured. Public institutions have to
bond and invite competitive tenders for disposal of
computers and other EEE as scrap in line with
procurement procedures. This bureaucratic process is
slow and usually results in huge stock of obsolete
computers and other WEEE being held in public
institutions ([5]; [1]).
5. CHALLENGES FOR E-WASTE
MANAGEMENT IN KENYA
Osibanjo & Nnorom [6] and Schluep [8] portend
that the greatest challenges facing developing countries in
the management of WEEE include: lack of legislation and
appropriate infrastructure for e-waste management,
absence of frameworks for end-of-life (EoL) product take-
back and implementation of extended producer
responsibility (EPR). Kenya is not an exception and is
faced by similar challenges.
One of the greatest challenges in the
management of WEEE is the low-level of citizen
awareness on the harmful effects of WEEE on the
environment, their health and safety [6]. E-waste has the
effect of polluting the environment when burnt or
disposed without due diligence; discharging harmful
heavy metals such as mercury and lead; depleting the
ozone layer; blocking water drainage channels; and
causing harmful effects including cancer to living
organisms in an ecosystem ([9]; [5]). The problem is
compounded by the inability of most consumers to
purchase brand new EEE therefore resulting in a
substantial number of consumers going for second-hand
or refurbished products which are cheaper but have a
shorter life-span.
The government agencies dealing with waste
management have limited capacity to deal with e-waste
management and are not working in a co-ordinated
manner that could build synergy. The government must
take a multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder approach
when dealing with WEEE management in order to be
effective. E-waste management has not been given the
priority it deserves at a national level. There are no
adequate resources and commitment towards addressing
the problems and challenges associated with it.
Moreover, adequate formal training has not been provided
to deal with issues of WEEE management and is therefore
largely handled in ad hoc manner.
Although Kenya is signatory to most of the
International conventions on e-waste, just like many other
developing countries, it lacks adequate regulatory
framework to deal effectively with WEEE management at
the local level. Moreover, there is ineffective
implementation of existing regulatory and legislative
framework. Besides this, as the situation is in other
developing countries, the government has not put in place
adequate infrastructure and resources for Environmentally
Sound Management (ESM) of WEEE [9]. As a result, a
lot of the e-waste is being handled by the informal sector
through crude recycling, refurbishment and dismantling to
extract precious metals and parts used for repair.
The government has also not streamlined
mechanisms for the Local Authorities to separate WEEE
from other solid wastes, store, collect, transport and
process it in a structured manner. Currently, all the solid
waste collected by Local Authorities is not separated into
different streams to facilitate separation of WEEE and
deal with its disposal in effective ways. Therefore, there is
need to develop a proper waste collection system in all
Local Authorities where waste is separated at the source
to effectively address this challenge.
Despite the many challenges and harmful effects
brought about as a result e-waste, there are many useful
benefits including creating employment; generating
revenue; and producing waste bi-products which can be
used to feed other local industries. The informal e-waste
industry creates substantial employment for the
unemployed youth who on average earn approximately
three dollars per day which is above the World Bank
poverty level of one dollar a day ([4]; [9]). Some
equipment can be dismantled and some valuable parts re-
used for repairs or precious metals like gold, silver and
copper reclaimed and availed for other useful purposes.
Vol. 6, No. 12 December 2015 ISSN 2079-8407
Journal of Emerging Trends in Computing and Information Sciences
©2009-2015 CIS Journal. All rights reserved.
http://www.cisjournal.org
665
6. CONCLUSION AND
RECOMMENDATIONS
The Kenyan government should partner with
private firms through Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP) to
build robust and sustainable infrastructure to facilitate an
environmentally friendly e-waste management system and
provide incentives for consumers to dispose their WEEE.
This will reduce the amount of e-waste stock that
consumers are piling in homes, offices and other storage
facilities. The government should consider facilitating
NGOs, local investors and private organizations by
providing them with tax rebates and land on which to put
up e-waste management facilities and infrastructure.
The government should also promote the
informal e-waste sector by providing investors with
funding through Constituency Development Fund (CDF),
Youth, Women and Persons with Disability (PWD) funds
to be used by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to
improve their local communities in effort towards WEEE
management. The government should provide incentives
for International companies or investors who are willing
to partner in refurbishment of old EEE and take-back
programmes to ease the WEEE burden in the country.
The cost of procuring brand new computers is
prohibitive when it comes to developing countries like
Kenya and instead of total ban on used computers, the
government should discourage imports; facilitate
programmes for refurbishing old EEE; and lower the cost
of brand new products to increase their affordability.
The government should also put in place
mechanisms for tracking mass flow of WEEE in and out
of the country by use of well-defined models so that it can
identify their sources and distribution channels for
effective management. The main source of entry of
computers in Kenya is through import of (brand new and
second-hand) equipment and local assembly. On the other
hand, the main channels of disposing e-waste are through
the second-hand market, recyclers, refurbishes and
dumping as general waste [4]. However, a significant
portion of this is still in the hands of consumers who do
not know how to dispose it off in an environmental sound
way without losing the residual value they attach to it.
In spite of the fact that NEMA has developed
guidelines on e-waste management and Kenya is a party
to many of the International Conventions, these guidelines
and regulatory frameworks are not effective without
proper national regulations and policies to govern e-waste
management. The government should therefore as a
matter of urgency formulate and enforce policies at a
national level for effective management of e-waste. These
should govern the entire e-waste management process
from storage, collection to disposal and licensing of key
players.
These regulations and policies should also
incorporate mechanisms of enforcing the EU
recommendations requiring an extended producer
responsibility (EPR) system; encourage reuse and
recycling of parts and reduce environmental impact of e-
waste.
The government should also take initiative to
amend the public procurement and disposal laws to take
cognisance of the emerging environmental and safety
issues associated with WEEE management and introduce
a more environmentally sound policy. This will ease the
burden of e-waste stocks piling in public institutions
because of the slow and bureaucratic procurement and
disposal processes which do not take cognisance of the
emerging challenge of WEEE.
Another serious challenge that is faced by the
country is low citizen awareness on the hazards of WEEE
and its negative impact on the environment. In order for
the government to achieve its objective of effective
WEEE management and have a greater impact, it must
create awareness and encourage citizen participation
through deliberate and specific marketing and campaign
strategies geared towards reaching out to citizens.
Capacity building programmes should be
launched in the WEEE management sector from the funds
generated from fees levied on EEE imports and licensing
fees from recyclers and refurbishment plants. The
capacity development initiatives should be done at a
national level with the involvement of experts and
institutions of higher learning. Benchmarking with other
countries that have been successful in management of e-
waste should be done and best practices adopted to boost
the government efforts
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http://www.cisjournal.org
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... The enactment of the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control Management Act 917 of 2016 in Ghana was the beginning of a specific legal regime for the management of e-waste in Ghana. The Act requires manufacturers and importers of electronic equipment to register with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and to pay an e-waste levy expected to cover the cost of effective management of e-waste [59]. There are also the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Regulations, LI 2250 (2016). ...
... In Kenya, the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) formulated guidelines for e-waste management in 2010 as part of efforts to manage e-waste effectively by all stakeholders. Similar to the efforts of the NCC in Nigeria to complement the Environmental Agency's efforts, an ICT policy was also formulated by the Ministry of ICT to ensure that players in the ICT sector have plans to reduce the impact of their ICT infrastructure on the environment before renewal of their licenses by the Ministry [59]. Otieno and Omwenga identified challenges of e-waste management in Kenya to include poor public awareness of the negative impact of e-waste, the absence of needed capacity to implement and enforce policies on the part of regulatory agencies, poor waste collection practices that do not allow for segregation of e-waste and thriving informal e-waste handling owing to the prevalence of poverty [59]. ...
... Similar to the efforts of the NCC in Nigeria to complement the Environmental Agency's efforts, an ICT policy was also formulated by the Ministry of ICT to ensure that players in the ICT sector have plans to reduce the impact of their ICT infrastructure on the environment before renewal of their licenses by the Ministry [59]. Otieno and Omwenga identified challenges of e-waste management in Kenya to include poor public awareness of the negative impact of e-waste, the absence of needed capacity to implement and enforce policies on the part of regulatory agencies, poor waste collection practices that do not allow for segregation of e-waste and thriving informal e-waste handling owing to the prevalence of poverty [59]. to prevent e-waste-related pollution and regulate recycling activities [60]. ...
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Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the course of events globally since the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in late 2019 giving further credence to the long-standing belief that the world is indeed a global village. There have been different responses by countries to the raging pandemic including the imposition of lockdowns, quarantine and isolation. The imposition of lockdowns, whether full or partial, has not been without major consequences, which has led to information, communication and technological (ICT)-based measures to minimise the effect of the lockdown and as an alternative to physical interactions. The use of ICT devices to bridge the gaps created by the lockdown on schools, businesses and other sectors has led to the increased use of electronic devices. The challenge of electronic waste (e-waste) management in developing countries has been around for a while and the increased use of electronic devices is likely to compound the challenge during and post COVID-19. Whilst the development of ICT-based options as viable alternatives to face-to-face interactions may not be a negative development, this article argues that the existing frameworks are inadequate to manage the resultant increase in e-waste in most developing countries and that there is need now more than ever before for developing countries to exercise caution in embracing these ICT-based options without putting in place measures to ensure that there is increased capacity to manage and dispose of the e-waste created.
... The Act requires manufacturers and importers of electronic equipment to register with the Environmental Protection Agency and to pay an e-waste levy expected to cover cost of effective management of e-waste. [59] There is also the Hazardous, Electronic and Other Wastes (Classification) Control and Management Regulations (2016) (L.I. 2250). ...
... This can be done via public private partnership. [59] Developing countries should also begin to research on phytoremediation and bioremediation to transform environment contaminated by e-waste. This is even more necessary now that there is increased use of electronic equipment and the resultant waste to be generated over time. ...
... Thus, about 95% of e-waste recycling is being done informally in an unregulated manner and with reports of extortion of the key stakeholders by the authorities who perceive them as persons involved in some form of illegal activities.In Kenya, the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) formulated guidelines for e-waste management in 2010 as part of efforts to manage e-waste effectively by all stakeholders. Similar to the efforts of the NCC in Nigeria to complement the Environmental Agency's efforts, an ICT policy was also formulated by the Ministry of ICT to ensure that players in the ICT sector have plans to reduce the impact of their ICT infrastructure on the environment before renewal of their licenses by the Ministry.[59] Otieno and Omwenga identified challenges of e-waste management in Kenya to include poor public awareness of negative impact of e-waste, absence of needed capacity to implement and enforce policies on the part of regulatory agencies, poor waste collection practices that does not allow for segregation of e-wastes and thriving informal e-waste handling owing to the prevalence of poverty.[59] ...
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The coronavirus pandemic has altered the course of events globally since the outbreak of the corona virus disease (COVID-19) late 2019 further giving credence to the long standing beliefthat the world is indeed a global village. There have been different responses by countries to the raging pandemic including imposition of lockdowns, quarantine and isolation. The imposition of the lockdown whether full or partial, has not been without major consequences leading to resort to information, communication and technological (ICT) based measures to minimize the effect of the lockdown and as an alternative to physical interactions. The use of ICT devices to bridge the gaps created by the lockdown on schools, business offices and other sectors, has led to increased use of electronic devices. The challenge of electronic waste (e-waste) management in developing countries has been on for a while and the increased use of electronic devices is likely to compound the challenge during, and post COVID-19. Whilst the development of ICT based options as viable alternative to face-to-face interactions may not be a negative development, the paper argues that the existing frameworks are inadequate to manage the resultant increase in e-waste in most developing countries and that there is need more than ever before for developing countries to exercise caution in embracing these ICT based options without putting in place measures to ensure that there is increased capacity to manage and dispose the e-waste created thereby.
... The term e-waste was first presented in the 1980s after the natural debasement because of risky items imported to developing nations (Otieno and Omwenga, 2015). There is no universally institutionalized or concurred meaning of e-waste; thus, every nation or association thinks of their own customized definition. ...
... There is a worldwide irregularity in the comprehension and use of the expression ''e-waste" in both enactment and regular utilization. This has brought about numerous definitions contained in e-waste controls, strategies and rules (Adediran and Abdulkarim, 2012;StEP, 2014;Otieno and Omwenga, 2015). ...
... These practices are highly encouraged to minimize the number of non-functional electronic equipment when purchasing or owning from donor organizations. In this regard, studies showed that the developing countries owned the electronic equipment which is typically imported without confirmatory testing for functionality and majority of them end up being waste electrical because they are useless or couldn't serve the intended purpose (Namias, 2013;Otieno and Omwenga, 2015;Veit and Moura, 2015). ...
Article
E-waste management is a challenging task not only due to its rapidly growing volume but more staggeringly because of its hazardous nature. This study examined the waste electrical and electronic equipment management in the educational institutions and governmental sector offices of Addis Ababa. Through purposive sampling method, the study involves 72 sample respondents from General Service Department office and 6 higher governmental officials. The study realized the purchase of both used and working electronic equipment. The major causes of e-waste generation are rapid obsolescence rate and breakage of electronic equipment. The X² test result (13.066, p =.042) was statistically significant in terms of the causes of electronic waste among the selected offices. The rapid technological advancements, reduce in the performances of electronic equipment, poor utilizations and handlings brought the generation of obsolete and broken e-waste. The most common e-waste disposal method was storing. Hence, 81.7% of e-waste are simply stored. Other e-waste disposal methods such as reusing, refurbishing and recycling activities were flimsy. The absence of recycling possibilities and lack of awareness about the possibilities and values of recycling e-waste were some of the hindering factors. The administrative, economic and socio-cultural related factors challenging e-waste management. What is more, there were absence of e-waste legislation, shortages of storage facilities, absence of recycling and refurbishing centres. Therefore, the study proposes a workable e-waste management model and theory. Hence, Extended Producer Responsibility Model and Actor Network theory might be adopted and practiced within the realities of today's Addis Ababa.
... 8 On top of that, management of waste is done informally, especially in Kenya, and this poses a great challenge. Otieno & Omwenga (2016) describe how Jua Kali (the informal sector) has taken up the management of e-waste. Electronic parts are dismantled and re-sold in unregulated environments, without much regard of the people's safety and the impact on the environment. ...
... Also, the lack of incentives have demotivated some consumers from properly disposing their waste, as suggested by Otieno & Omwenga (2016). Citizens need to be motivated to participate in waste separation and disposal, for the betterment of the environment (WEEE Centre, 2019). ...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
Living things go through biological processes to produce waste which is released back to the environment for natural recycling. Human beings, however, produce waste that may not be broken down naturally. This prompts some form of intervention such that waste is eliminated using procedures that have minimal impact to the environment. Over time, methods have been developed to ensure proper waste disposal of different forms of waste.However, these methods of disposal are not efficiently applied. The challenge arises from consumers themselves, where they are not fully aware of these methods. Some are uninformed of how to manage their waste, and thus prefer to store it. Other individuals show little or no interest towards environmental conservation and conventional waste management procedures. Also, in the country, some forms of waste are handled informally where processes are done carelessly, and this makes some individuals unwilling to get rid of their waste.The proposed solution involves developing an application that enlightens consumers on the appropriate methods of disposing the various forms of waste. With the aid of augmented reality, users are presented with a variety of resources and solutions to the consumer in a highly interactive format, enhancing high-level human computer interaction.
... National e-waste guidelines were formulated in 2010 to assist actors (government, private sector, learning institutions and others) to manage WEEE effectively to enhance environmental conservation. Only in the ICT policy, there is a component that requires e-waste as WEEE dealers to demonstrate their readiness to minimize the effects on the environment before they can have their licenses (Otieno and Omwenga 2015). Despite all these efforts, overwhelming e-waste disposal continued and existing institutional settings failed to address the problem. ...
... Despite all these efforts, overwhelming e-waste disposal continued and existing institutional settings failed to address the problem. The absence of stringent e-waste regulation together with the removal of tax levies on computers to promote e-learning enhanced the volume of e-waste generation in Kenya (Otieno and Omwenga 2015). ...
Article
African countries are among the prime destinations of electronic waste (e-waste) also called Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), and have been challenged with the management of its environmental and health impacts. This paper was carried out to understand the e-waste sector and policy responses in selected African countries. Data for the study were generated from sources; such as policy documents, legislations and literature. Findings show that the import of WEEE is on rising in Africa while landfill and incineration continued to be widely used handling approaches. Countries studied lack WEEE specific national policies and stringent policy instruments to enforce proper collection and recycling systems. Despite the start-ups in emerging recycling operations, a major gap is that informal e-waste actors dominate the e-waste chain from collection to material extraction and refurbish activities through rudimentary tools that cannot detect toxic elements. Tackling the problem demands integrated multi-actor interventions with multiple stakeholders to reduce WEEE inflow on one hand, and ramping up safe recycling capacity on the other hand. Implications: The article attempts to explain the electronic waste problem in African countries, the nature of existing policy responses and limitations, and ways forward to address policy gaps. Electronic waste is a global problem but with local impacts with the hazardous substances it contains. Because E-waste is still not well recognized health and environment threat, less attention is given for the problem especially in African countries making the uneducated youth more vulnerable to toxic elements. The epistemic community, hence, is supposed to write about it and develop knowledge so that evidences for policy decision making would grow. The focus is on Africa because the problem needs special attention. E-waste has been dumped in Africa for long time and people who work with such waste are mostly uneducated and vulnerable to toxic substances. This problem requires certain attention in the scholarly and policy community at the international level.
... [35], [47] Awareness Central Governmen t/Ministries Government organizer [19], [24]- [26], [32], [48] Local Governmen t Implementatio n of government affairs by the Regional Government and the Regional House of Representative s. [19], [24]- [26], [32] Companies /Industries A group of organization. ...
... [19], [24], [26], [32], [48], [49] Societies A group of individual. ...
Article
Information and communication technology (ICT) becomes one of the key drivers of economic growth and competitiveness. In contrary, the increasing of the ICT usage is not followed by the increasing of the green ICT awareness and behavior. Our previous research on Private higher education institution practice of green information technology governance model had resulted some obstruction on the implementation. One of the most crucial aspect among others is the government policies and regulations deficiencies. Hence, this study describes as well as proposes green IT government regulation components which can be regulated by Indonesia’s government. 6(six) green IT government regulation components (green knowledge, regulatory design, regulation dimensions, directive cost, awareness and innovation/technology) were categorized based on literature review.
... The United Nations Environmental Program [166] summarized the e-waste situation in five different African countries and found that all of them lacked appropriate infrastructure and regulation to safely dispose of e-waste imports. A number of reports have summarized specific e-waste issues in African countries, including Ethiopia [167] Ghana [12] Kenya [168] Malawi [169] Tanzania [170] and Uganda [147,171]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Waste electronic and electrical equipment (e-waste) consists of used and discarded electrical and electronic items ranging from refrigerators to cell phones and printed circuit boards. It is frequently moved from developed countries to developing countries where it is dismantled for valuable metals in informal settings, resulting in significant human exposure to toxic substances. E-waste is a major concern in Africa, with large sites in Ghana and Nigeria where imported e-waste is dismantled under unsafe conditions. However, as in many developing countries, used electronic and electrical devices are imported in large quantities because they are in great demand and are less expensive than new ones. Many of these used products are irreparable and are discarded with other solid waste to local landfills. These items are then often scavenged for the purpose of extracting valuable metals by heating and burning, incubating in acids and other methods. These activities pose significant health risks to workers and residents in communities near recycling sites. E-waste burning and dismantling activities are frequently undertaken at e-waste sites, often in or near homes. As a result, children and people living in the surrounding areas are exposed, even if they are not directly involved in the recycling. While toxic substances are dangerous to individuals at any age, children are more vulnerable as they are going through important developmental processes, and some adverse health impacts may have long-term impacts. We review the e-waste situation in Africa with a focus on threats to children’s health.
... Realizing the dangers of handling e-waste in the informal sector, the Basel Convention Regional Centre was set up to build the capacity of informal e-waste managers in Nigeria, Senegal and Egypt on hazardous waste management (www.basel.int?/tabid¼2334). This initiative is to create public awareness on the hazardous nature of chemical elements contained in e-waste and the effects on human health Otieno and Omwenga (2016) and the environment as ozone depleting gasses such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are found in e-waste (Maria-Grazia, 2016). ...
Article
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The study investigated why sustainable technologies are not used to collect, dismantle and sell e-waste at Agbogbloshie given the risk of injury and extensive environmental pollution associated with handling of electronic waste. The study objectives were to examine the nature of technologies adopted to manage e-waste, assess challenges faced in adopting sustainable technologies; determine the missing links between formal and informal e-waste workers. Research questions were; what is the current level of technology adopted to manage e-waste and challenges limiting the adoption of sustainable technologies; and what are the missing links between the formal and informal sectors that limit adoption of sustainable e-waste management strategies. Data collection involved use of questionnaire to gather data on technologies used for e-waste management, challenges faced in using such technologies and what the workers consider as solutions to sustainable e-waste management. Field observations helped to explain waste management operations and questionnaire responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Study results show most of the e-waste workers are youthful and not much educated. The use of unsustainable technologies to manage e-waste has contributed to physical injuries to workers and pollution of the environment. A major challenge limiting the use of sustainable technologies is lack of financial resources to acquire modern equipment despite the laborious nature of the work. The paper concludes that sustainable solutions to electronic waste management requires support from government to subsidize the cost of sustainable technologies in e-waste management.
Article
E-waste is a world-wide, interregional, and domestic problem. E-waste management is a challenging task not only due to its speedily increasing volume but more importantly because of its hazardous nature. This study examined the e-waste management and disposal methods in Addis Ababa the case of Bole and NSL sub-cities. The theoretical basis of this study is Extended Producer Responsibility and the Value-Belief Norm Theory. Through a systematic random sampling, the study selected 100 household heads from Bole and NSL sub-cities. The study ran multiple regression and poison regression models. The increase in the monthly income of the sample households, the less likely relied up on the purchase of second-hand electronic equipment. The breakage of electronic appliances, increasing of obsolescence rate, and the demand for extra and new design were the major causes for the e-waste generation. The consumers with the higher income tend to generate obsolete electronic equipment earlier than the lifetime of the equipment than the respondents with middle and lower income. Commonly storing is the widely practiced disposal method. Little or no other disposal methods such as reusing, donating, refurbishing, and recycling. Findings showed that absence of appropriate disposal methods and recyclers are considered as factors for the lengthy storage and improper disposal.
Article
Full-text available
The rapidly increased use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) has increased demand for electronic equipment such as mobile phones and computers. Individuals and government institutions worldwide are adopting ICTs at a fast pace. Increased consumption has resulted in huge amounts of e-Waste generated from scrapped electronics. E-Waste contains chemical substances that have adverse effects on the environment and human health. Consequently, handling of e-Waste needs to be organized in ways that minimize the adverse effects. This chapter investigates how the East African Community (EAC) governments, i.e., Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi, conceive their role in combating negative impact of e-Waste and how their views and current actions compare to the current state of the art practices in e-Waste management. As data on e-Waste handling in EAC countries is not publicly available, semi-structured interviews with high government officials and a literature review were conducted. The results show that EAC governments consider e-Waste to be an emerging problem. Despite this awareness and attempts to mitigate the problem in some of the countries, there are currently no solid solutions that have been crafted to rectify or mitigate this problem. The study suggests practical solutions for resolving e-Waste challenges in EAC.
Article
Full-text available
Serious adverse impacts on the environment and human health from e-waste recycling have occurred in the past and continue to occur in China today, due to a lack of national management strategies. China has made great efforts to face the challenges of the approaching peak increase in the domestic generation of e-waste and the illegal shipment of e-waste from other countries. This study examined recent progress and analysed the main problems associated with this issue in China. It was found that the material and the financial flows of e-waste in China had their own specific characteristics. Nearly 60% of the generated e-wastes were sold to private individual collectors and passed into informal recycling processes. More than 90% of Chinese citizens are reluctant to pay for the recycling of their e-waste. This is due to their traditional understanding that there remained value in these end-of-life products. Regulations concerning e-waste in China have been drafted but their deficiencies are obvious. The extended producer responsibilities (EPR) have been introduced but are not well defined. Eight formal facilities have been planned and are under construction or are in operation along the eastern coast of China but it will be difficult for them to compete with the informal processes for the reasons identified during the study.
Article
Full-text available
Information and telecommunications technology (ICT) and computer Internet networking has penetrated nearly every aspect of modern life, and is positively affecting human life even in the most remote areas of the developing countries. The rapid growth in ICT has led to an improvement in the capacity of computers but simultaneously to a decrease in the products lifetime as a result of which increasingly large quantities of waste electrical and electronic equipment (e-waste) are generated annually. ICT development in most developing countries, particularly in Africa, depends more on secondhand or refurbished EEEs most of which are imported without confirmatory testing for functionality. As a result large quantities of e-waste are presently being managed in these countries. The challenges facing the developing countries in e-waste management include: an absence of infrastructure for appropriate waste management, an absence of legislation dealing specifically with e-waste, an absence of any framework for end-of-life (EoL) product take-back or implementation of extended producer responsibility (EPR). This study examines these issues as they relate to practices in developing countries with emphasis on the prevailing situation in Nigeria. Effective management of e-waste in the developing countries demands the implementation of EPR, the establishment of product reuse through remanufacturing and the introduction of efficient recycling facilities. The implementation of a global system for the standardization and certification/labelling of secondhand appliances intended for export to developing countries will be required to control the export of electronic recyclables (e-scarp) in the name of secondhand appliances.
Article
The consumption of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) is continuously increasing worldwide and, consequently, so is the amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) it generates at its end-of-life. In parallel to this growth, legislation related to this issue has been passed in different countries with the aim of improving the management of WEEE. In order to raise awareness about the situation in which the generation, composition, management or final treatment of this kind of waste currently finds itself, an extensive number of articles have been published around the world. The aim of this paper is to define and analyse the main areas of research on WEEE by offering a broader analysis of the relevant literature in this field published between 1992 and August 2014. The literature researched comprises 307 articles, which are analysed according to the topic they focus on (WEEE management, WEEE generation, WEEE characterisation, social aspects of WEEE, re-use of EEE or economic aspects of WEEE). In addition, a deeper analysis is also presented, which takes into account the temporal evolution (globally and by topic), location of the study, categories and subcategories analysed, etc. © The Author(s) 2014.
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