Environmental hazards posed by unsafe disposal of electronic and solid waste could be mitigated as Rwanda’s Government moves to implement a three-year project to recycle e-waste in the country, the country’s Trade Ministry officials have said.
The project, which will be implemented under the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM), will involve setting up of collection centres for the electronics and a factory to recycle this waste depending on its nature.
The project, dubbed, “National e-waste Management Strategy for Rwanda to Support the Establishment of Sustainable Recycling Industries”, is expected to cost $1.3 million.
“Studies about the project have been on since last year. We will set up collection centres for e-waste in the districts of Huye, Nyabihu and Bugesera to collect waste from the neighbouring districts. After, we will set up a dismantling factory in Bugesera Industrial Park by the beginning of 2017,” Steven Niyonzima, who will be coordinating the centre, said before adding that other centres will be in the City of Kigali.
Niyonzima noted that the collection centres will be managed by people in the private sector, after undergoing training, and that they will work with other processing facilities to ensure the segments of the e-waste that cannot be processed in Rwanda or even Africa, can be shipped to a responsible facility using requisite technology.
“Special interest groups like women, youth and people with disabilities will be considered during the project implementation and we will work with them through their associations and cooperatives. We want to create green jobs because the project aims at encouraging development of SMEs in e-waste management,” Niyonzima added.
He explained that an e-waste management association will be formed under the Private Sector Federation, bringing together groups of collectors, private companies, producers and retailers associations.
According to an assessment of e-waste status in Rwanda, there has been an increase in the electronic and electrical equipment imported, while the ICT imported equipment increased by over five times between 2001 and 2010.
The electronic and electrical equipment inventory in public institution shows that 85 percent of the equipment are laptops, and of these, 14 per cent are not working.
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