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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

e-waste:Stakeholders beckon on entrepreneurs

The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) experts under the aegis of Naija IT professionals have beckoned on entrepreneurs to delve into the nation’s hi-tech generated electronic waste (e-waste).

Reacting to the recent reports entitled ‘Sifting through the mounting problem of e-waste,’ they argued that government should make the country investment friendly in terms of e-waste, so as to encourage ICT diffusion in spite of the attendant waste that could be generated.

According to them, there is a need to spur investors in setting up recycling centre for e-waste in the country.

Experts at Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) described e-waste as discarded, surplus, obsolete, broken, electrical or electronic devices which causes serious health and pollution problems in developing countries due to the fact that electronic equipment contains some very serious contaminants such as lead, cadmium, beryllium and brominated flame retardants.

Just as in developing countries recycling and disposal of e-waste involves significant risk for examples to workers and communities as well as great care must be taken to avoid unsafe exposure in recycling operations and leaching of materials such as heavy metals from landfills and incincerator ashes.

Equally, the online free encyclopedia, Wikipedia, portrayed e-waste as all secondary computers, entertainment device electronics, mobile phones, and other items such as television sets and refrigerators, whether sold, donated, or discarded by their original owners.

This definition includes used electronics which are destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling,
or disposal, among others.

However, some members of Naija IT professionals, who commented on the subject recently, included the Chief Technology Officer of Finland-based WoodGong Communications, Mr. Sunny Odum, and his counterpart at COURE Technologies Incorporated, Mr. Uche Onwudiwe.

For Mr. Odum, if the very simple exercise of maintaining the environment, the homes, the basic needs for daily survival - needless talking of the luxury of living a good life, to mention a few, elude the Nigerian populace, how could hi-tech generated e-waste be dealt with invariably without the private sector, especially with such “crass debilitating and suffocating ignorance abounding the populace?”

While advocating for what he described as a cultural way of dealing with this new order of technology development and the ensuing e-waste problems, which Nigeria looks up to investors to explore.

“The waste disposal service and industrial recycling process is big business in Nigeria waiting to be harnessed. I still wonder why investors and entrepreneurs have not taken advantage of this opportunity,” he said.

Mr. Uche Onwudiwe, noted that efforts have been made in recent past by several Nigerians who are currently setting up industry in this area.

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