RWANDA: Rura launches competition to collect e-waste in Kigali and Musanze

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RWANDA: Rura launches competition to collect e-waste in Kigali and Musanze©Gabriel12/Shutterstock

With Rwanda generating about 10,000 tons of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) each year, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) is initiating a competition to rid Kigali and Musanze district of their old appliances. The initiative will contribute to the carbon neutrality strategy envisaged by the East African country by 2050.

“Get rid of your old electronics and help build a greener, healthier future. That’s the slogan currently echoing through the streets of Kigali and Musanze in Rwanda as part of a competition launched by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA). The initiative, which aims to reduce waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), is jointly supported by the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), the Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA), the Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

Specifically, throughout the month of July, people are invited to drop off their computers, cell phones and other end-of-life devices at an Enviroserve Rwanda (recycling company) collection point of their choice, take a photo of them dropping them off and post it on social media, including Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Rura’s acting director general, Deo Muvunyi, said the winners of the challenge will benefit from the visibility and connection offered by the Rwandan subsidiary of the South African telecommunications company MTN. Also, three winners will each win a laptop provided by Enviroserve.

For his part, Olivier Mbera, Enviroserve Rwanda’s general manager, said the country collects only 20 percent of e-waste, and if not disposed of properly, this waste “poses a significant threat to the air people breathe, as well as to animal and plant life, because it contains toxic chemicals. This is why we are calling on Rwandans to help build a greener, healthier future.

Concrete steps

The initiative is timely, especially since last Friday, a regulation banning the import of e-waste, including cathode ray tubes (CRTs), came into force within the East African Community (EAC), of which Rwanda is a member. The law also stipulates that vendors of electronic gadgets operating in the region are responsible for handling the waste generated by their products.

Read also-RWANDA: Kigali sensitize on the sustainable management of electronic waste

In May 2022, the Rwandan government in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) initiated an awareness campaign on electronic waste management. The operation, which aims to stimulate the collection and recycling of old electrical and electronic equipment, targets the 1.2 million inhabitants of the city of Kigali.

Benoit-Ivan Wansi

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