A framework for sustainable e-waste management in manufacturing and processing industries, Industrial area Nairobi County
Muhani, Duncan Aliero
MetadataShow full item record
Kenya’s manufacturing and processing sector is among the key productive sectors identified for economic growth and development because of its immense potential for wealth, employment creation and poverty alleviation. Currently Kenya’s industrial sector is one of the largest in sub Saharan Africa, the sector is highly fragmented with more than 2,000 manufacturing enterprises. The presence of these industries has led to rise in waste from electrical and electronics equipment and devices known as e-waste due to changes in technology, wear and tear, and high rates of obsolescence of the equipments. The country is also likely to experience an increase in e-waste due to the formation county government as envisaged by the constitution of Kenya 2010, as the Counties are all out to embrace industrial growth. The project explored how an integrated approach to e-waste management can be applied in Industrial Area, Nairobi County in order to address the problem of e-waste brought about by the presence of high number industries. The study reviewed legal, policy and institutional framework governing e-waste management and general waste management in Kenya with a view to determine their strength and weaknesses in addressing the issue. The study also sought to assess how e-waste is handled and examining critical challenges constraining e-waste management in industrial area. From the data I collected, It was established that the legal and institutional framework governing e-waste in the country do not efficiently address the problem. There are no e-waste specific policies and general national policies on environmental conservation do not directly address the problem of e-waste but solid waste in general. Enforcement of the regulations on general waste management has also proved to be a problem to the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and the County Government as they lack adequate capacity to carry out their mandate in form of finances and personnel to enable them carry out enforcement of the regulations. Many of the industries do not practice routine environmental reporting where both internal and external auditing on the state of the environment is done. Routine environmental reporting is very important in realizing sustainability on matters of environmental management; it ensures disclosure of the state of the environment at given periods, which ensures industries comply with laws and regulation governing the sector. From the data collected, some of the industries do not have health and safety measures and procedures of e-waste handling in place. These two issues are very critical when it comes to handling e-waste; there absence in industries means high vulnerability during the handling process. Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act, 1999 provides for the integration of environmental concerns in national policies, plans, programmes and projects. In this regard, it provides for the formulation of National, Provincial and District Environment Action Plans every five years, there is therefore need to restructure the former provisional administration to fit in the new county government structure for this purpose. The study calls for urgent and comprehensive integrated framework, which will ensure functional systems and structures, are put in place for proper e-waste management hence reducing significantly the human and environmental impacts of poor e-waste handling by taking action to address gaps in policy and institutional framework governing the sector both at the national and county government. It also calls for manufacturing industries to put in place measures towards environmental compliance.