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Rwanda to set up e-waste collection points to manage waste

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CNBCAFRICA 13 MAR 2020

The Government and its partners last week unveiled a countrywide awareness campaign that will see every district have an e-waste collection point within the next two months in a move aimed at building a sustainable e-waste management ecosystem in Rwanda.

Launched in Musanze District, the campaign seeks to sensitize the general public; notably informal e-waste handlers to operate in fulfilment of national regulations governing e-waste management.

Among the regulations is a regulatory framework for electronic waste management which stipulates that “any person carrying out activities related to e-waste collection, transportation, retailing, importation, dismantling, recycling, refurbishing shall hold an appropriate license issued by the Rwanda Regulatory Authority (RURA).

As part of the awareness campaign, the first e-waste collection point was launched in Musanze District and the facility is expected to be the central point for collection and interim storage of e-waste in the district.

The same facility will be launched in all other districts of the country at a tune of Rwf200m in partnership with Enviroserve Rwanda Green Park – a local company that deals with electronic recycling.

The Enviroserve General Manager Olivier Mbera, said that their project seeks to protect the environment while at the same time generating jobs.

“There are about 650 kinds of electronic equipment varying from radio sets, TV sets, solar products and air conditions among others that contain hazardous chemicals which are toxic to the environment especially when they are no longer in use.

Some of the equipment can be recycled into various products by generating jobs,” he said.

He went on to explain that his company, in partnership with the government and GIZ Eco-Emploi Programme, seek to train a critical mass of current repair technicians from across the country that do not have formal degree or a RURA license in e-waste management to ensure they contribute to efforts to build a sustainable e-waste management ecosystem in Rwanda.

The ICT General Manager regulations at RURA, Charles Gahungu, said that having an e-waste collection point in every district of the country was timely given consequences of e-waste to the future of the country.

“ICT is one of the pillars of our country’s development. The electronic equipment that we are increasingly seeing in the country poses threats as they toxic to the environment. That’s the main reason electronic waste management is crucial if we want to have a better country,” he noted.Close

‘Emotional attachment’

The Governor of the Northern Province, Jean Marie Vianney Gatabazi, revealed that despite the fact that it poses environmental threats, citizens were still reluctant to part ways with their old electronic equipment due to what he called ’emotional attachment’

“Some keep old equipment such as old telephones or analog TV sets for sentimental value but we urgently need to stop this misconception and we are therefore set to instruct districts and grassroots leaders to sensitize residents on e-waste management,” he said.

The demand for electrical and electronic equipment has increased significantly in Rwanda due to the general economic growth and modernization.

As a result, the 2014 inventory on e-waste and the expected amount of e-waste to be generated in Rwanda showed an annual increase of 6 percent and a total quantity of 10,000 tons of e-waste generated each year.

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