NATIONAL EWASTE SUMMIT CALLS FOR EWASTE POLICIES IN ZIMBABWE

On the 10th and 11th of March 2021, Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights partnered with four other organizations to hold an National EWaste Summit. The Summit was divided into two: day 1 was the National EWaste Think Tank which was officially opened by ZHRC Commissioner Guvamombe and Day 2 was the Summit which was addressed by the EMA Bulawayo Provincial Manager Mrs S. Ndlovu.

The National EWaste Summit was attended by representatives from Bulawayo, Hwange, Lupane, Plumtree, Matobo, Insiza, Gwanda, Beithbridge, Gweru, Chiredzi, Masvingo, Chitungwiza, Wedza, Chinhoyi, Mutare and Harare.

Key recommendations from the Summit included:

  1. There is need for specific e-waste legislation in Zimbabwe and this may be in the form of a specific e-waste Act; or a solid waste Act that recognizes e-waste; or an e-waste policy;
    1. There is need for a specific agency to tackle e-waste issues and this agency may be reporting to or be a subsidiary of the Environment Management Agency (EMA);
    1. EMA needs to be empowered with arresting powers to be able to effect arrests on e-waste polluters instead of just issuing tickets and orders;
    1. The idea of a stand-alone Environment Court needs to be further amplified as such a Court may also be instrumental in dealing with the specific and complicated issues of E-waste;
    1. Zimbabwe needs to establish mechanisms of enhancing e-waste research, documentation and quantification;
    1. Improved public discourse, awareness raising and engagement on e-waste and its negative social, environmental, climatic, and health impacts needs to be promoted targeting the media, local authorities, policy makers and implementers, and the general public;
    1. There is need for measures to promote local business that can recycle e-waste locally and manufacture other new electrical and electronic products thus creating employment and boosting local economic development;
    1. Zimbabwe may need to consider legislative and policy measures to standardize and regulate the commercial importation of reconditioned and recycled EEE that is at the end of its life-cycle;
    1. Learning from fellow African countries who have advanced in terms of e-waste management.

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