Agbogbloshie e-waste to become history


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is partnering stakeholders to find lasting solution to the menace of e-waste at Agbogbloshie in Accra.

The solution being sought would in turn be replicated in other parts of the country where e-waste have become a challenge affecting the health of humans and the environment.

With the increase in the use of ICT gadgets globally, the e-waste threat has become a major phenomenon while the Agbogbloshie problem has gained international recognition as the 10th most pollutant in the world.

The EPA on Thursday organised a forum to provide a better understanding of key issues of hazardous wastes including e-waste management by stakeholders and to develop national partnership for e-waste control in tandem with relevant global multilateral environmental agreements.

This would lay a strong foundation for charting a new course for sustainable e-waste control strategies in Ghana.

Mr John Pwamang, Deputy Executive Director in charge of operations, EPA, said one of the key functions of the Agency is the control and management of hazardous wastes and has therefore developed a number of guidelines for the management of the waste to protect human health and enhance the country?s environment.

He said the EPA is also working with stakeholders including Green Advocacy-Ghana to create awareness among the informal e-waste recyclers on the adverse health and environmental effects of their operations following several studies undertaken on the activities of scrap dealers at Agbogbloshie.

The scrap dealers are also being trained to recover useful materials from e-waste in an environmentally sound manner without burning the gadgets that emit toxins into the environment.

Mr Pwamang said the EPA is worried that the recovery of useful materials such as copper from end-of-life electrical and e-waste is creating serious pollution problems in the country.

Dr Daniel Baffour-Awauh, Director at the Environment Directorate, Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation said the forum was timely since the menace of e-waste had emerged as one of the most serious environmental problems in Ghana.

He said the Ministry among other interventions is processing the drafting of Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Bill for consideration by Parliament, which would provide a good framework for EPA, customs and the other agencies to control importation of second hand electrical and electronic gadgets and regulate the recycling of e-waste to protect human health and the environment.

Mr Mohammed Ali, Secretary of Greater Accra Scrap Dealers Association said there are more than 6,000 people dealing in scrap business at Agbogbloshie and providing about 30,000 tonnes of scraps to companies dealing in steel and metal work who might otherwise import the materials.

He said members of the association would welcome any interventions that would help eliminate the health hazards being imposed by their work while ensuring that ?we remain in business and work to fend for our families?.

At the end of the forum, a technical committee was set up to plan a strategy that would help stop the burning of scrap at Agbogbloshie and find alternative means of extracting scraps by the dealers.


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