Last updated April 12, 2019
With electronic gadgets on the rise in Ghana, worries have been growing over the resultant crisis in the ever increasing amounts of e-waste in the country. Despite the government enacting a law to try and control the importation of such devices into Ghana and curb the electronic waste crisis, critics say that those in power do not really have the will or the desire to stop it or to take the seriousness of the need for the recycling of old cell phones and other electronic items as seriously as it needs to be.
Emmanuel Dogbevi, who is a passionate advocate against the dumping of electronic waste, is one such critic. “We have a clear and present danger, a situation that calls for immediate, urgent, calculated action, and if the government is still talking about laws, what concrete action is on the ground to address the issue?” Dogbevi asks pertinently. “It’s not evident… we need serious public education to discourage Ghanians from patronizing old electronic consumer goods. People might think initially that they’re cheap but they’re not – they’re expensive in the long run.”
Not everyone in Ghana is in favor of the idea of a ban, with many finding the imports both inexpensive and of better quality than what are available locally, and others wanting quality checks rather than blanket bans. Others note that the government gains valuable revenue from the taxes on such imports. Dogbevi remains unconvinced however, noting “What is economic wellbeing when you don’t have an environment safe enough to exist and to have a healthy lifestyle?”