With more calls to combat climate change that is posing a big threat to the world, efforts are being adopted to address the challenge, in Rwanda which is among the 20 most at risk countries in the world for environmental hazards; a great step is taken in e-waste management.
Electronic waste collection garbage built in Rubavu district in November 2020 is protecting environment and people’s health because wastes that usually contain poison are collected in safe way.
“E-waste collection garbage prevent problems of old electronic materials which contain chemicals which can harm people and destroy environment.” said Olivier Mbera Country General Manager of the company that collects the e-wastes,
When e-waste breaks down, it releases toxic heavy metals which leach into the soil and influence the plants and trees that are crowing from this soil. Also when they are burned they release hydrocarbons in the atmosphere, which pollutes the air.
To avoid these problems, government established the e-waste collection garbage to enable the management of e-wastes. The e-waste collection garbage established in Rubavu has the capacity to collect 25 tons of waste and it is located near international market of Gisenyi Sector.
The citizens of Rubavu district confirm that from November 2020 when this collection was established, it is helping them because before e-wastes were thrown in general waste collection garbage or bought by some people in illegal ways and cause environmental degradation or diseases caused by chemicals poisons contained by those old electronic materials.
Not only does sustainable e-waste management conserves the environment, but also presents opportunities for realizing the enormous untapped wealth as well as business and employment opportunities.
Citizens benefit from e-waste collection
Jacques Mwiseneza says that they even get some money by selling e-waste. “This e-waste collection garbage is helping us because we bring old electronic materials there and we are paid money instead of throwing them anywhere which would cause diseases because they contain chemicals which are not good to human health and environment in general.” He said.
Charles Gahungu, General Manager of ICT Regulation in RURA says that e-waste management helps government to dispose off all the used electronic materials that would rather end up in other garbage and cause an effect to the environment, the lives of both people and animals.
Government has trained people who will help in collecting e-waste and separate those that can be used from those who are completely waste and cannot be used in anyway.
“Mechanics were trained about how to know if material can be used again or if it is completely done. Example, if it is an old electric light, it cannot be used again, but if it is like mobile telephone it can be used after. A person will be paid if it is waste that can be used after, but if it cannot be used they will not be paid but they will have where to throw their waste.” Said Mbera.
Gilbert Habyarimana, Mayor of Rubavu District says that this collection garbage helped to maintain cleanliness of district and protect environment because dirty could cause diseases.
After being collected e-wastes that can be used after are sent to Bugesera where there is a factory that uses them and those which cannot be used are destroyed in a way that don’t cause any risk.