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Ghana: Dump Site For Discarded Gadgets
 
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25-Nov-2009  
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It is estimated that between 20 and 50 million tons of electronic gadgets are discarded globally every year less than 10 per cent of which is recycled and more than half shipped to developing countries, including Ghana.

Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Jonathan A. Allotey, quoted these statistics from the United Nations Environment Programme studies at the opening of a workshop on clamping down on illegal waste shipments to Africa.

The three-day workshop is designed to give participants an insight into the training needs of enforcement authorities in charge of controlling trans-boundary movements of wastes in the participating countries.

It is also to set up communication links among countries to ensure effective tracking and verification of movement of waste and treatment at their destination. The workshop organised by the European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL), the Basel Secretariat, the EPA with support from Norway, has brought together 52 environmentalists from Europe and Africa. “There is no doubt that these materials offer some economic benefits, but in the end leave a heavy burden on health and environment, especially in areas less technologically endowed to deal with them”, Mr Allotey said.

He said significant international trans-boundary movement of various electrical and electronic goods of different categories were shipped, most of which were labeled second-hand goods, to escape regulatory controls.

He pointed out that illegal waste shipment to Africa could stem from the increasing amount of hazardous waste, inadequate processing plants for waste or the high cost of disposal and the increasingly stringer regulations in the developed countries coupled with giving environmental awareness.

To effectively combat waste trafficking, he said, international co-operation and high level of scientific expertise were required, adding, “it is for this reason that strong international co-operation and collaboration is required not only from the IMPEL but all others who care for the environment”.
 
 
 
Source: The G. Times
 
 

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