According to WHO, waste electronics (e-waste / WEEE) are polluting drinking water and harming ecosystems around the world when e-waste a improperly handled.
Rising usage of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) inevitable grows the amount of electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) around the globe. More than ever, consumers in both developed and developing countries consume more EEE every year but few countries are good at recycling their electronics. Eventually the electronics end up in landfills, polluting groundwater and other ecosystems.
E-waste must be recycled properly
Without proper e-waste recycling, any nation will face severe economic, humanitarian as well environmental costs. The WHO (World Health Organization) explains the problem with e-waste:
"Recycling of valuable elements contained in e-waste such as copper and gold has become a source of income mostly in the informal sector of developing or emerging industrialized countries. However, primitive recycling techniques such as burning cables for retaining the inherent copper expose both adult and child workers as well as their families to a range of hazardous substances. E-waste-connected health risks may result from direct contact with harmful materials such as lead, cadmium, chromium, brominated flame retardants or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), from inhalation of toxic fumes, as well as from accumulation of chemicals in soil, water and food." (source: https://www.who.int/ceh/risks/ewaste/en/)
While e-waste may generate short-term income for the informal sector, it has a severe long-term negative impact on the public health system when people affected by e-waste end up in hospitals with cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and reproductive problems. As the WHO outlines, not only humans are affected by e-waste but also nature and ecosystems may be severely affected by the problems with e-waste.
According to a 2017 study by the UN, every Namibian citizen generates on average 6 kg / e-waste per year, which totals to 14.000 metric tonnes of e-waste generated per year. Namibia is place 7th out of all 53 African countries in terms e-waste generation. Studies have found that there is a direct correlation between living standards and amount of e-waste generated in a given country.
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The amounts of e-waste generated are the sum of the six e-waste categories: Temperature Exchange Equipment, Screens, Monitors, Lamps. Large equipment, Small equipment, Small IT and telecommunication equipment. Source: Latest figures from UN, ITU, ISWA
African E-waste company, NamiGreen
African e-waste companies such as NamiGreen (https://www.namigreen.com) is managing the growing amount of e-waste in Africa, and has recently started e-waste operations in Namibia. NamiGreen collects e-waste from companies, organizations and private persons whom want to deal with e-waste responsible.
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