[BALU] Stop dumping in Africa
jgoodguy at charter.net
Wed Jun 13 10:27:58 CDT 2007
It appears that one way to eliminate the need to properly dispose of
obsolete computer equipment is to 'donate' it. Note the 500 containers
per month in one port alone.
This call comes after the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
announced that over 50 million metric tons of electronic e-waste are
produced globally, much of which finds its way to the African continent
as charitable donations.
As was reported today by Business Report, Microsoft Africa's president,
Cheick Modibo Diarra announced that "between now and 2010, a billion
computers should be recycled worldwide and Africa can take advantage of
half of them."
At the 8th meeting of the Basel Convention conference, which comes up
this week in Nairobi the capital of Kenya is to discuss digital dumping.
African governments are urged to adopt a framework to tighten shipments
and disposal of all kinds of electronic wastes.
Some computers, cell phones and other gadgets going out of use within
months of production, so-called e-waste is considered the fastest
growing part of municipal waste in Africa.
Often left to rot in expansive dumping grounds, electronic waste may
contain traces of the toxins cadmium, mercury and lead, which can
contaminate water supplies, wreak havoc on once fertile lands and
contain carcinogenic elements.
Most of it is shipped to the poor world, mainly Africa, under a
"refurbished" banner and end up in junkyards where the goods rot and
release lead, canadium, mercury and other deadly compounds that pollute
Experts speculate that anywhere between 25 to 75 percent of the e-waste
that enters Africa, mostly through Mombasa, Lagos and Dar es Salaam
ports, is useless.
It is also reported that in Nigeria alone, about 500 containers full of
used electronic cargo pass through the Lagos port every month, according
to a recent study by Seattle-based Basel Action Network.
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