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A clean and healthy environment is of utmost importance to all members of our society. With global developments and innovations in technology, electronic devices are a constant feature of day-to-day life.
The Kenyan government has rolled out an e-government programme to promote use of information and communication technology (ICT) in all sectors. The resultant waste from their usage has over the years accumulated, and now poses a threat to our environment.
E-waste is a generic term encompassing various forms of electrical and electronic equipment that are old, end-of-life electronic appliances or have ceased to be of any value to their owners (UNEP). E-waste includes electronics which are destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling, or disposal.
Statistics on E-waste
Estimates of e-waste generated annually in Kenya are:-
• 11,400 tonnes from refrigerators,
• 2,800 tonnes from TVs,
• 2,500 tonnes from personal computers,
• 500 tonnes from printers and
• 150 tonnes from mobile phones (Press Release UNEP, 2010).
The mass flow study carried out in 2007 by Kenya ICT Action Network showed that:
1,513 tonnes of electronics entered the market.
The consumer in addition to receiving 1,489.4 tonnes also received 151.3 tonnes from the second hand market.
Kenya has reached a mobile penetration rate of more than 63%, and an internet penetration of more that 18.6%. The number of internet users was estimated at 10.2 million
The number of ICT companies along the sector increased to more than 4000 companies . Moreover, many shops and kiosks also resell ICT related services; especially services and products relating to the mobile phone
ICT is being extensively used in the Education, Health, industrial, Trade and communication sectors. Private sector has been installing heavy computing equipments and data centers, mainly mobile operators, banks, and Manufacturing sector companies.
From the statistics the consumers are likely to:
• Dispose-off 1,210.4 tonnes in the second-hand market,
• Dispose-off 18.6 tonnes to collectors or as general waste which is sent to refurbishers.
• Disposes-off 18.6 tonnes directly to recyclers.