International E-waste Day: FG restates commitment to curb e-waste

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THE Minister of State for Environment, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor has reaffirmed the commitment of the Federal Government in curbing environmental and health challenges posed by unsound e-waste management on livelihood.

Ikeazor said this in a statement signed by Saghir el – Mohammed, Director, Press and Information of the ministry on Wednesday in Abuja.

She described E-waste as non-functional electrical/electronic equipment that has become hazardous to the environment and healthy lifestyles.

According to Ikeazor, as Nigeria joins the rest of the world to commemorate the International E-Waste Day (IEWD), the country must not continue to be a dumping ground for used electronics and other electrical appliances.

“The appliances do not only constitute a serious challenge to the environment, but also to healthy living of Nigerians.

“Nigeria is in receipt of large volumes of Used Electrical Equipment (UEE) that are under the guise of ‘bridging the digital divide’ with a large chunk discovered to be e-waste.

“This unsound waste is a fall-out from the rapid transformation in the Information Communication and Technology sector.

“In 2018 alone, about 50 million tons of e-waste was generated globally, with only 35 per cent officially reported as collected and recycled,” she said.

Ikeazor reiterated Federal Government’s readiness to give maximum support to e-waste management and its sustainability.

She said that the government has already demonstrated its commitment to global efforts through the establishment of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and promulgation of necessary regulations, among others.

Ikeazor said the concern about e-waste stems from the fact that
they contain several toxic and Chloreflourocarbons, or Hydrochlorocarbons, which if not properly managed could harm the environment and human health.

She said that the ministry plays an active role as the focal point for e-waste management in the country.

Ikeazor said the country has achieved much in sound management of e-waste, through the implementation of the Extension Production Responsibility (EPR) programme.

She said the implementation of EPR programme has attracted international support under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded project on ‘Circular Economy Approaches for the electronics sector in the county`s project.

“This project supports the collection and treatment of 300 tons of e-waste under the implementation framework of UN Environment Programme (UNEP), with NESREA as the executing agency for the project”.

Ikeazor, who described the theme for this year’s IEWD, “Education, which is devoted to the young people”, as apt, said ‘‘it is envisaged that young people will be educated on e-waste issues and in turn mentor a new generation of environmentally – responsible consumers’’ .

The International E-Waste Day (IEWD) movement started in 2018 and is celebrated annually on every Oct. 14. IEWD stimulates awareness on effect of e-waste, to arouse political will, attention and public action.

NAN

– Oct. 14, 2020 @ 18:55 GMT |

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