EPA conducts survey, inventory on e-waste in Ghana

Discarded computer cases in Ghana

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is undertaking a socio-economic survey and an inventory of second-hand refrigerators, electronic waste (e-waste) and electrical appliances on the market.

The exercise is aimed at soliciting information from stakeholders, especially importers and dealers of such goods, to guide policy formulation and enactment of laws to regulate the importation of such products.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani on Tuesday, Mr Isaac Osei, the Brong–Ahafo Regional Director of EPA, said since January 2010 the Agency had imposed a ban on all refrigerators with ozone depleting substance or Chloro-flouro Carbons (CFC) gases owing to the danger it posed to the ozone layer.

The ozone layer is the part of the earth’s atmosphere that has highest number of ozone molecules and which protects living things from the harmful radiation of the sun.

He said the EPA had identified the sale of such goods as a major problem in the country because of their negative health effects on the users.

Mr Osei said some parts of used gadgets like air conditioners, mobile phones and television sets had in them certain metallic components such as cadmium, lead, mercury, chromium and barium.

These metallic components have hazardous effects on human health after they have been discarded and subjected to burning and human exposure.

He said it was important to educate the public, especially for intensive education and sensitization of the public, importers of the items, about the health implications and risks associated in their usage before the formulation of laws and policies to regulate their importation.

Reacting to concerns by authorities on the need for such a law, Stephen Appiah, proprietor of Asumdwie Store in Sunyani, dealers in used electrical items and electronic appliances said he would have no option than to comply with the dictates of the would-be law.

“We are already into selling both new and old electronic gadgets, it’s just a matter of stopping the sale of used items and deal in new ones”, he said.

Source: GNA

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