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Electronic waste risk assessment and management in Ghana

Nukpezah, Daniel (University of Ghana)
Search for Daniel Nukpezah in Research Programmes Information System
Okine, Henry Ayikai (University of Ghana)
Search for Henry Ayikai Okine in Research Programmes Information System
Ofori, Benjamin (University of Ghana)
Search for Benjamin Ofori in Research Programmes Information System
Ababio, Martin (University of Ghana)
Search for Martin Ababio in Research Programmes Information System
Chapter Climate Change and Scarce Resources
Volume Proceedings of the 28th Conference on Environmental Informatics - Informatics for Environmental Protection, Sustainable Development and Risk Management
Conference EnviroInfo 2014 - ICT for Energy Effieciency
Oldenburg, 2014
Year 2014
Abstract of the Article
The current management practice regarding e-waste is not the best. Mostly crude methods are used
for e-waste dismantling and material recovery. Flow of E-waste into Ghana comes mostly from
Europe and North America. Activities in the e-waste recycling chain include manual dismantling,
open burning to recover metals and open dumping of residual fractions. Such practices release hazardous
chemicals into the environment. Indeed comparing heavy metals concentration in urine of ewaste
workers with those of the control group, it was observed that urinary Cu (mean 0.827 mg/L)
and zinc (mean 0.63 mg/L) levels for Agbogbloshie e-waste workers were significantly high compared
with those of the control. Considering the fact that e-waste trading and recycling activities
provide participants with livelihood opportunities, and considering the risk posed to health and
environment, we make the following recommendations:
- Need to improve enforcement of related transboundary regulation in both countries of destination
and countries of origin
- Enactment of national e-waste legislation and improvement of enforcement of existing legislation
- Strategies aimed at extending product life cycle of used computers such as formalizing repairs
and refurbishment of UEEE through training and loan grants to small businesses involved in
UEEE repairs
- Restricting the age limit of UEEE imported into country to minimize near end of life computer
- Sharing of information, experience and intelligence among relevant enforcement agencies in
tackling issues of transboundary e-waste shipment.
- Mainstream education on e-waste impact among scrap dealers with a view to establish a culture
of risk reduction through the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Establish a national formal e-waste management system in place with sound environmental management
framework since e-waste contains both beneficial and toxic substances. In summary
therefore, consideration should be given to formalizing the current e-waste recycling regime in the
country since it provides people with livelihood alternatives. Legislation regulating the import of
UEEE and restriction of those near EOL, provision of personal protective equipment (PPE’s), regulation
of the activities of scrap dealers and increased port security to reduce the import of none
functional UEEE’s could help reduce the current menace e-waste inflicts on the Ghanaian society.
Pages 205 - 212
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