End e-waste dumping in Africa, say consumer groups

Western governments should strengthen efforts to prevent the continued dumping of toxic electronic waste in the developing world, consumer groups said on Monday.

DanWatch, a consumer group, say that around half a million second-hand computers are imported to Nigeria every month, most of which end up dumped on waste sites around the port city of Lagos.

Some computers dumped at sites outside Lagos and the Ghanaian capital Accra originate in institutions such as Westminster City Council, in London, and the World Bank, in New York, the group said. The mountains of e-waste are poisoning the water supplies and damaging local people’s health.

Consumers International call for exporting countries to implement tougher monitoring procedures to ensure second-hand electronic goods are in a meaningful working order before being shipped. Obsolete electrical equipment is waste and, as such, illegal to export to  developing countries. It should be disposed of or recycled in the country of origin using environmentally sustainable methods.