The government of Ghana says it is finalizing on law and other regulations that will control the importation of electronic waste also known as e-waste into the country.
According to Ms Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, her outfit is working with two other ministries to finalise the law on e-waste in Ghana.
“Currently, the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology is collaborating with the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General to finalise the bye-law and other regulations that will control the importation and disposal of electronic waste in this country”, Ms Ayittey told participants at the International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) symposium in Accra last week.
She however admits that the e-waste situation poses a serious threat to human health.
Meanwhile, the government had said it was preparing an anti-dumping law to address the menace.
In a telephone interview with ghanabusinessnews.com on Tuesday April 14, 2009, Ghana’s Communications Minister, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, gave a hint of the possibility of government enacting legislation to stop the dumping of e-waste into the country.
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu said, “we have taken a serious view of the situation and we are considering the passing of anti-dumping legislation, particularly of used computers.”
Even Ghana’s Vice President, Mr John Dramani Mahama who was the Guest of Honour at the function, described the e-waste situation as a menace.
Mr Mahama even cited a situation where he once saw obsolete electrical equipment at Agbogbloshie, a suburb of Accra where the waste is hugely dumped.
“Then I realized that the menace nears me” he said.
In his speech, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Communications sent a strong warning to countries who use African countries especially Ghana as a dumping ground for these outmoded electrical items.
Mr Iddrissu gave the assurance that the environment will be protected.
What is E-waste?
E-waste is the generic name for electronics wastes. These are discarded electronics devices or broken electronics or electrical items that come into the waste stream from several sources. They include gadgets like televisions, personal computers (PCs), telephones, air conditioners, cell phones, and electronic toys.
The list can further be widened to include appliances such as lifts, refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, kitchen equipment or even aircraft.
By Ekow Quandzie with additional materials from articles by Emmanuel K. Dogbevi