Wednesday, August 18, 2010

e-Waste concerns re-echoes at clean environment forum

Even with the Basel Convention prohibiting International waste transfer, the dumping of e-waste into the Nigerian market and the rest of the African sub-region has continued to grow in geometric progression attracting both national and international regulatory authorities.

While hundreds of containers stuffed with used PCs, e-gadgets and their accessories have continued be shipped to African continents, especially, Nigeria as a result of their high demand, the ugly trend has continued to worry both the government, the regulatory authorities and the end users because of its health and economic implications.
But henceforth, it may not be business as usual again as the Nigerian National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency under the Ministry of Environment, (NESREA) will soon come up with tough regulation on e-waste management in the Nigerian market.

At the just concluded national conference on ICT and the Nigerian environment organized by the AIT Infotech Network, eWorld Magazine and IT. EgdeNews, Dr Lawrence Anukam, a Director at the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) who represented the DG of NESREA told Vanguard CyberLIFE in an exclusive interview that the agency will soon come up with tough regulations to ensure effective environmental governance through compliance monitoring and enforcement of environmental laws, standards and regulations regarding e-waste management.

Major exporting countries to Nigeria include, he said will include European Union - 45%; United States of America – 45%, adding that the remaining 10% from other locations such as Japan, Italy, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore.

“The honorable minister will sign it into law. The technical aspect is almost concluded It is a participatory process where all stakeholders will make an input. We cannot continue like this. Something has to be done to make our environment clean” he said.

Earlier in his presentation, he disclosed that Waste Electronic/Electrical Equipment (WEEE) or e-wastes include those unwanted, obsolete or unusable electronic products such as computers, computer peripherals, televisions, VCRs, DVD Players, stereo equipment, cell phones, microwave ovens, among others.

NESREA, in collaboration with the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), according to him, had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Alaba International Market Amalgamated Traders Association (AIMATA) to check cases of sub-standard quality, counterfeiting and dumping of near-end-of-life and end-of-life electrical and electronic appliances into Nigeria.

“NESREA is coordinating the national implementation of the Toxic Waste Dump Watch Programme to monitor and control illegal dumping of toxic and hazardous wastes in Nigeria;

NESREA acts decisively and timely on reception of alerts from the international community regarding illegal shipment and dumping of hazardous wastes in Nigeria, and provides leadership in tracking, intercepting and arresting vessels carrying such consignment.

“NESREA organized an International Conference on E-Waste Control in Abuja from 20th -21st July, 2009. The communiqué of the Conference is called the “Abuja Platform on E-Waste”. It contains concrete observations and recommendations for charting a new course in e-waste control and has formed part of global template on addressing e-waste issues
“NESREA is the new institutional mechanism created by the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure effective environmental governance through compliance monitoring

“As a result of the remarkable growth in information and communication technology (ICT), combined with the phenomenon of rapid product obsolescence, e-waste is now recognized as the fastest growing waste stream.
“E-waste is hazardous because it contains many different substances including toxic heavy metals (Lead, Mercury, Nickel, Cadmium etc) and organics (PCBs and Brominated flame retardants) which create serious environmental pollution and human health problems if not properly handled” he said.


Post a Comment