Veep Calls For Effective Regulation On Importation, Disposal Of Electronic Items
7/8/2011 4:31:24 PM -
The Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, has called for effective regulation of the importation of electronic items and the disposal of electronic waste in the country.
He said some of the imported electronic items, such as computers, were over-aged and therefore broke down within a few years.
Besides, he said, the improper disposal of e-waste destroyed the soil cover and water bodies.
Mr Mahama was speaking at the opening of the sixth International Telecommunication Union (ITU) symposium on Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs), the Environment and Climate Change.
High level participants in the two-day conference include Mr Malcolm Johnson, Director of Telecommunications Standardisation Bureau of the ITU and Mr Abdoulakarim Soumalia, Secretary-General of the African Telecommunications Union (ATU).
The conference, which has attracted experts in the ICT sector from all over the world, is to discuss issues relating to the ICT industry and how sector players can impact positively or negatively on the environment and its attendant effect on the climate.
Mr Mahama noted that, “e-waste is a menace that affects developing countries”. He, therefore, stressed the need for proper disposal of e-waste, “to avoid contamination of landfills, water bodies and drains”.
The Vice-President said it was important to know the expected life-span of computers before importing them, since some of them could be more than 10 years old before their importation.
The Minister of Communications, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, said as the ITC industry was growing faster than the rest of the economy, it was expected that energy requirements for computers and data centres, fixed and mobile telecommunications would worsen significantly the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
He noted, however, that, “since the main output of the ICT sector is information rather than physical goods, it is easy for ICTs to provide a solution to reducing GHG emissions from other sectors of the economy”.
Mr Iddrisu, who has been largely credited with transformative moves within the Ghanaian telecom sector, said several steps had been taken in Ghana to protect the environment and noted that there was strong partnership and collaboration between the communications sector and the Ministry of Environment and Science and technology, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, to monitor and control radiation levels from telecommunications infrastructure deployment.
The Director General of the National Communications Authority (NCA), Mr Paarock VanPercy, said the meeting afforded participants the opportunity to build on the ITU conference in Guadalajara, Mexico (PP-10) resolution, and forge a common thinking on what contributions would be made to the next round of negotiations on the climate change conference in South Africa.