Professor Rosamond Boahene, Project Coordinator of Electronic Waste (e-waste) Management in Ghana has called for proper recycling and collection systems to reduce the disastrous environmental and social impact of the current e-waste management practices
She said in Ghana, the sector was largely unregulated with the informal sector as the key manager of E-waste and are without proper application of current collection, separation and disposal trends to ensure the environmental friendliness of E-waste.
Prof Boohene, who made this known at a three-day day workshop to educate stakeholders in the sector in Takoradi, said the measure would help promote sustainable consumption patterns in the country, adding that, the alarming rate of electrical and electronic waste generation in the country continue to pose major threats to the environment and human health.
She said every year, an estimated quantity of 11.2 billion metric tonnes of solid waste was collected worldwide and Ghana contributed 120 million metric tonnes of e-waste, which contains more than 1,000 substances, both precious, hazardous and non-toxic.
She noted that, poor waste management, non-existing collection systems to ineffective and unsafe disposal resulted in air, water and land pollution as well as affected human health and wellbeing. Professor Rosemond Boohene pointed out that e-waste currently offered 30,000 direct employment with 120,000 dependants and was estimated to contribute US$ 130 million to the Gross Domestic Products of the country.
"The majority of e-waste are managed by network of collectors, refurbishers, intermediaries and scrap dealers, specializing in manual dismantling under very hazardous conditions".
Professor Boohene, said "improved management of e-waste in Ghana towards Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) through an integrated multi-stakeholder approach and promoting sustainable growth, alleviating poverty, increasing human well-being and preventing environmental pollution was therefore key to realising the tenets of the Electronic Waste Control and Management Bill and other international conventions ratified by the state".
The 48 months project, with grant from the European Union and implemented by the University of Cape Coast, Adephi-Germany, among other implementers in eight regions of the country, would contribute to the effective implementation of Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and management Act 917.
The project would also help to improve management of e-waste through the formalization of micro, small and medium enterprises, collection mechanism as well as build the capacity of stakeholders to adopt best dismantling practices, provide informative support and create awareness among key targets groups for action.
Mrs. Letitia Abra-kom Nyaaba of the Ghana National Cleaner Production Centre, said in future, the project hopes to establish proper disposal for negative fractions, treatment facilities and improve upon the downstream market value chain of the e-waste sector.
Mr Yaw Sarfo-Afriyie, the Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, noted with concern the challenge of sustainable management of e-waste.He said the promulgation of the law was therefore to streamline the activities in e-waste collection and management industry to ensure a sound waste system to save the country’s environment in line with the Basel convention.