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Zambia lumbers under pressure of mounting e-waste

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Zambia , 08 Nov 2019

Zambia lumbers under pressure of mounting e-waste

The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) has warned the country is facing a growing threat to the environment and the health of its citizens due to indiscriminate disposal of electronic waste (e-waste).

ZICTA director general Patrick Mutimunshi said the organisation is concerned about the growing volume of e-waste and the country does not have a sustainable management and disposal system.

Speaking at the launch of Zambia's first-ever e-waste management and recycling company, Mutimunshi said ZICTA carried out an ICT survey to evaluate local e-waste management in the country to better understand current disposal mechanisms, as well as the risks associated with them.

"The survey revealed that mobile phones contributed the largest amount of e-waste at about 34.8%, followed by radio and television sets at 17.4% and 10% respectively, while computers are the least at 1.5%," he said.

Principal inspector at the Zambia Environmental Management Authority (ZEMA) Crispin Simwanza said: "By virtue of Zambia not being a producing country for ICT equipment, it accumulates a lot of e-waste because e-waste starts at a time of importing the products into the country especially the old refurbished equipment."

The government has realised the need for a robust e-waste management strategy in order to save the environment, and that a number of joint-venture interventions are being implemented said Mutimunshi.

The launched recycling company will be involved in collecting, sorting and exporting the recyclables parts and shipping to Europe for final disposal of other e-waste in an environmentally friendly manner.

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