Electronic wastes, or e-waste, has become a global environmental problem, and Rwanda is not an exception. The development of digital industry and ICT, the country has significant increasing of e-waste being discarded.
In Rwanda, the handling of e-waste is under the RURA (Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority), which has put in place stringent laws on the management of e-waste.
The laws require that all e-waste, whether imported, exported, or generated locally, must be properly managed, from collection to disposal. To achieve this, Rwanda has settled up e-waste disposal facilities in Bugesera District, Kigali, which is the first of its kind in East Africa and work in partnership with private sector.
The waste facility, with the capacity to handle 10 tonnes of e-waste per day, employs effective techniques such as dismantling, shredding, and separating the different components in the waste, enabling the valuable resources to be recycled while the harmful ones are treated safely and disposed of in an environmentally friendly ways.
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The Rwanda has also embarked on an e-waste awareness campaign to educate the public on the hazards of incorrect e-waste disposal. As part of the campaign, the government has set in place a free collection service to collect e-waste from households, businesses and organizations to ensure they do not end up in non-designated locations such as landfills, wetland, waterbody and conserved area to encourage people to dispose of their e-waste properly.
As part of the mitigation measures, Rwanda is also promoting the use of renewable energy, including solar energy. As the digital world is rapidly advancing, electricity demand rises, hence increasing e-waste. Solar energy, reduced the use of some materials which in turn offers a safer environment as few electricities components will be needed.
Rwanda has demonstrated to the World its effort in mitigating the effects of e-waste on the environment. From its state-of-the-art facility to the awareness campaign and promoting renewable energy, the country’s commitment towards creating a safer environment is a good example.
The efforts being put in by Rwanda towards proper e-waste management should be emulated by other countries globally, in taking care of their environment for present and future generations.