Just How Much Do We Know About Electronic Waste: Empirical Evidence from Nairobi, Kenya
This study aimed to find out if consumers of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) in Nairobi, Kenya know about e-waste and its harmful effects, the available disposable mechanisms in the country and the legal framework for managing EEE. It also explored if consumers would desire to have information on e-waste and participate or be involved in its management. Primary data was collected from 98 residents of Nairobi via the online platform - SurveyMonkey tool, because the study was done during the corona virus disease (COVID-19) pandemic spread and the country was enforcing social distancing measures by the World Health Organization. Data was descriptively analyzed. Results show that majority (84.2%) of the respondents understand what electronic waste is, 68.4% of the respondents know that e-waste has hazardous substances in them. 71% of respondents in the study however, indicated that they do not segregate it at source during disposal as is required by the e-waste guidelines. In the study, 73.7% of the respondents had no idea there existed any government efforts to guide or regulate its management. Most importantly, the city dwellers are willing to be involved in its management. This study, therefore, recommended that the government, through its regulatory bodies in environment, ICT and other relevant EEE regulators, to develop voluntary and mandatory legal, policies, guidelines and regulatory frameworks for managing EEE. The Government has to create proper disposal mechanisms, communicate effectively the challenges posed by inferior disposal methods and continuously engage the citizens in e-waste management activities. Proper disposal and its eventual management can be part of consumer’s daily activity.
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