Africa has been covered with piles of electronic waste
Computers, mobile phones, televisions, etc all kinds of electronic products are used in a period of time after discarded due to various reasons, produce a large amount of electronic waste. The electronic waste are continuously transferred to developing countries in Africa. Although the recovery of electronic waste a certain income for the local economy, but electronic waste has brought serious environmental and health effects.
Studies have shown that human produced 40 million tons of e-waste each year, and at a rate of 4% increased year by year. By used mobile phones, laptops, air conditioning, washing and so on electronic waste become the world’s fastest growing waste stream.
There are few places more affected by electronic waste than in west Africa. Benin and Nigeria, ivory coast, Ghana, Liberia and other countries can produce nearly 1 million tons of e-waste each year. Meanwhile, the European developed countries will own e-waste exported to west African countries.
Reported that 85% of old electronics in Ghana import from Europe, in the majority with Britain and 8% from North America, 4% from Asia, 3% from other countries. These electronic waste in Amsterdam port to Antwerp port and export customs clearance, is declared as “private goods” and “second-hand goods”, “charity bankcard gift”, etc., to bypass the e-waste export regulation.
An influx of old appliances is a double-edged sword for west African countries. On the one hand, to import this kind of old appliances can create jobs and promote the growth of recycling economy. Now in Accra, Ghana, in Lagos, Nigeria for old electronics recycling industry for more than thirty thousand people. Only one country in Ghana, old electronics recycling produced about economic income of $106 million – $268 million.
In addition to economic benefits, some people can also be found in the old appliances precious rare metal. Most of the printed circuit boards, for example, could find the silver and gold, mobile phone in the circuit board on this kind of metal especially. If recycled properly, people can from electronic waste which is extracted from rare metal will be more. In addition, the electrical wiring can be found in rich copper.
But on the other hand, west African countries lack of effective means and conditions for safe and effective to deal with these electronic waste. Across the entire continent of Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa only at present formally established recycling electronic waste policy and set up the relevant facilities.
Electronic waste has caused a lot of negative effects, it caused a huge environmental and health problems. For people who directly engaged in the electronic waste recycling industry, the effects of electronic waste to health is very terrible.