09 Sep

In recent decades, the use of electronic and electrical devices has increased significantly,leading to rapidly rising amounts of waste electrical and electronic equipment(WEEE), often also called e-waste, throughout the world. E-waste is a highly complex waste stream as it contains both very scarce and valuable as well as very toxic components.1 It also lacks a uniform international definition. In this article, we have chosen to use the terms WEEE and e-waste interchangeably. According to the definition put forth by the Solving the e-Waste Problem (StEP) Initiative.
Over the last few decades, Kenya, along with other Asian and African countries, has become a major destination for e-waste exports from OECD countries. In addition, Kenyans have been generating rapidly increasing amounts of e-waste domestically. As of September 2010, there was no comprehensive regulation in effect covering the
management, recycling and disposal of e-waste in Kenya and the import of WEEE into the country. Consequently, much of the domestic and imported WEEE ended up in illegal dismantling and recycling facilities where workers use processes hazardous to both their health and the environment. The new draft E-waste (Management and
Handling) Rules, hereafter “draft rules” or simply “the draft”, are expected to come into effect by the end of 2010. The draft rules aim to address both domestic e-waste management and the import of e-waste into Kenya.
This document focuses on how the problems surrounding e-waste regulation in other countries – particularly those that export to Kenya – may influence or predict potential points of success as well as obstacles to the effectiveness of Indian regulation.
I use the examples of WEEE management regulation and enforcement in two of the world’s largest e-waste producers and the two biggest exporters of e-waste to Kenya, the United States of America (US) and the China. These examples are useful for two reasons: firstly, obstacles encountered in implementing and enforcing e-waste regulation in the China and the US may contain important lessons for the implementation and enforcement of such regulation elsewhere – including the draft e-waste rules in Kenya. Secondly, examining existing e-waste regulation and enforcement in these entities can reveal whether or China and the US can be expected to stop or decrease exports to Kenya. Both entities possess the technology to treat their own e-waste – so the questions of why and how some of this WEEE ends up in Kenya and which laws the China and the US have to regulate these exports are relevant to assessing whether or not the Kenyan regulation will be able to lessen the e-waste problem. If China and the US are unable to stop their own WEEE from being exported, Kenya will continue to carry a double burden in e-waste management, having to address the handling of both the country’s own domestic e-waste and the imports.
Hence the need to focus on other green technologies that include shared resource computing which will save the continent and particularly Kenya both in health and dumping to the tune of millions of dollars.
ThinGlobal has focused her foot-print in Africa after considering the need for more ICT requirement in Africa and the need to go green.

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Posted by on September 9, 2011 in Uncategorized


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