The President, E-Waste Relief Foundation (ERF), Mr Ifeanyi Ochonogor, on Friday said the Foundation would ensure computers and allied products dealers and handlers, were educated on dangers of improper handling of e-waste.
Ochonogor said this at the 2nd edition of Lagos E-Waste Handlers Capacity Enhancement Programme (LEHCEP 2), aimed at training informal waste handlers in Computer Village and those in Olusosun Dumpsite in Lagos.
According to him, the Foundation is trying to educate and create awareness of the dangers of e-waste handling by the informal handlers since there is no NGO dedicated to such crisis.
“We chose to come to Computer Village, the heart of the ICT market in Nigeria and Lagos in particular, because of the number of electronics that passed through the hub.
“When we looked at e-waste that passed through the hub, it was crisis and that was why we chose here so that it would have the best impact in going forward next year,” he said.
He, however, commended the government for the implementation and enforcement of e-waste for Business-to-Business (B2B) through its environmental agencies.
Ochonogor said that the Foundation was complementing government’s effort by creating awareness for the masses on proper handling of e-waste and not taking away their livelihood.
He said that the Foundation would also partner with Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN) to train and sensitise e-waste handlers on proper and safe handling.
Prof. Oladele Osibanjo, President, Waste Management Society of Nigeria (WAMASON), said that the programme had enabled the participants to be exposed to the dangers of improper handling of e-waste.
Osibanjo said that the e-waste handlers had been exposed to the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as nose mask, which ensured that they remained healthy as they picked them.
”We want them to live a decent life and enjoy the fruit of technology.
“It is a business the handlers found themselves in without understanding the dangers of it and no clue about health and environmental issues.
“I will like to commend the president of the Foundation for going into the Computer Village, the hub of technology, to create the awareness on proper handling of e-waste,” he said.
Osibanjo said that it would be unforgivable if the Foundation failed to extend its knowledge on dangers of improper handling of e-waste and did not impact such knowledge to those who did not know about it.
He said that the Foundation’s partnership with the electronic dealers should be supported as it would provide avenue for many people to join in the training of proper handling of e-waste.
According to him, Nigeria produces 1.1 tonnes of e-waste which can be a small gold mine and provide employment for young graduates if properly harnessed.
Osibanjo said that there were many dangers in managing e-waste, saying that it was time Nigerians paid attention to the environment.
Aliu Usman, Garage Chairman, Olusosun Dumpsite E-waste handlers, said that the training had exposed the handlers to the dangers of improper management of e-waste and how to prevent being exposed to its numerous health hazards.
Usman appealed to the government to do more by encouraging the Foundation to train and sensitise the handlers on proper management of e-waste.
Edited & Vetted By: Chidinma Agu/Adeleye Ajayi