BY NGARI GICHUKI
Persons found disposing E-waste material illegally will attract a penalty of Sh3 million or spend 36 months in jail or both.
This is according to a raft of regulations on E-waste management recently presented to Parliament.
Speaking at the launch of the East African Compliant Recycling (EACR) facility in Athi River, the Cabinet Secretary in the ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources Professor Judi Wakhungu said the Government is committed in ensuring the health and safety of Kenyans is secure from the effects of E-waste.
She said her ministry was working closely with Parliament to ensure the E-waste Management Bill becomes law.
Ms Wakhungu said the Government was attracting investors to the country to exploit prospects of setting up E- waste recycling industries so as to create jobs for Kenyans, and at the same time lower the rate of pollution.
“We recognise that E-waste is a valuable resource and the materials recovered can be used to make new products. Our aim is to encourage the private sector to establish recycling facilities to properly manage end of life for things like fridges, TVs, computers and mobile phones and other products that we increasingly rely on. These items can be harmful to human health and the environment if they are not recycled correctly,” said Wakhungu.
She added that manufacturers and producers of E-waste should show extended producer responsibility by donating to E-waste management programs and promoting proper management habits within its consumers.
She emphasised that practical implementation of solutions and enforcement of the policy are key to the success of E-waste management since the Government cannot solve the issue alone.
The cabinet secretary said the Government can only seize the chance offered to turn this issue into an opportunity to create jobs, wealth and protect health and the environment.
EACR Chief Executive Officer Robert Truscott said the E-waste industry had the potential of becoming a multi-million dollar sector if proper legislation and support are put in place.
He commended the Government on its commitment to make Kenya the first East and Central African country fully capable of recycling its E-waste.
“EACR is the only recycling plant in the region. We intend not only to offer employment but also make a difference in the environment and lives of people,” Truscott.