THE HERALD – A new wave of environmental degradation is threatening Africa’s environments, it is not the effect of climate change, but electronic waste dumped in Africa by some Western countries in the form of computer donations and other electrical gadgets.
Computers and other second-hand electronic gadgets dumped to most, under the guise of donations are causing more problems for the environment as they cannot be easily disposed due to chemical and other compositions that make them harmful if disposed without due care.
Worse still, the donating countries are well aware of the fact that most African countries do not have incineration facilities to burn this toxic waste. They are making it a point that they follow up on their garbage by establishing recycling and incineration plants.
By so doing they have made it a point that they hold Africa at ransom, since all countries receiving the donations will always turn to the West for better recycling and incineration equipment .
Tendai Mudangwe, the information and communication technology coordinator with the Women’s University Africa, told the delegates at the recent Information
Technology and Cyber Security Conference in Harare that electronic waste from computers and other gadgets is seriously threatening the environment hence the need to come up with a legal framework on their disposal.
ICT equipment contains harmful metals which may react with water purification chemicals if they are not properly disposed of; there is a greater need to be considerate of the environmental risks caused by e-waste.
Because of generous donations that come in, most institutions are finding themselves with warehouses stockpiled with unnecessary computers and other gadgets that they are finding difficult to dispose of.