As the ICT sector grows in Botswana, government is already grappling with e-waste management and has put out calls to influence disposal e-waste safely.
The Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) and Department of Waste Management and Pollution Control (DWMPC) are spearheading government’s initiative to promote safe disposing of e-waste.
Through collaboration with Pretoria-based Africa Institute, an international NGO for sound management of hazardous waste and other chemicals, DWMPC has produced a video expected to promote safe disposing of waste.
According to DWMPC the video shows the situation of e-waste in Botswana, the private sector and public institution initiatives and recycling of e-waste in South Africa and Namibia.
“It is hoped this video will create awareness on the potential dangers of poor handling and disposal of e-waste in our society and stimulate private sector efforts towards resource recovery and recycling of this waste,” said Frank Molaletsi from DWMPC, waste management department.
In 1998 Botswana’s legislators promulgated the country’s Waste Management Act, and the piece of legislation is silent on issues of e-waste.
And in another initiative DWMPC has put out a tender to engage a consultancy to develop an Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Policy to address the shortcomings and gaps in the existing waste management legislation including the sound management of e-Waste.
“Funds have been secured for this exercise. This policy will pave way for the development of an overarching legislation that will address waste management issues holistically,” said Molaletsi.
Adding sentiments to issues of e-waste Mphoeng Tamasiga, Deputy Chief Executive at BOCRA said; “The reality is that once our communications gadgets reach the end of their useful life they become waste, not just any waste but electronic waste or e-waste.”
Tamasiga said electronic waste is currently regarded as the largest growing waste stream, posing the most diverse challenges, including environmental, economic and social aspects because of its hazardous and complex nature.