In recognition of the relevance and activities of the informal e-waste operators in the State, a comprehensive training programme was organised by the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), in collaboration with Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and E-Waste Producer Responsibility of Nigeria (EPRON), to expose the collectors to basic operating procedures as well as laudable approaches to mitigate environmental health risks associated with improper handling and management of e-waste.
Declaring open the training programme, which took place at the Digital Bridge Institute, Oshodi, the Director-General of NESREA, Prof. Aliyu Jauro, stated that the training was designed to highlight the opportunities and challenges inherent in circularity of the sector as well as zero-tolerance for non-compliance to established protocol by the operators.
Prof. Jauro, represented by Mrs. Miranda Amachree, explained that the programme was organised for E-waste Collectors in Lagos with a focus on Circular Economic Approaches for the Electronic Sectors in Nigeria and was funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), adding that the training has four components, namely: Implementation of the extended producers’ responsibility and legislation in the e-waste sector; Establishment of 30 collection centres to collect 300 tons of e-waste through formalised collection channels; Development of a cost-effective recycling system for various e-waste categories to develop regional and global knowledge exchange on a circular economy model for e-waste and the Establishment of an e-waste compensation programme.
The training exercise, according to him, would expose the informal e-waste handlers to basic information guiding their operations, such as Proper handling of Waste Electrical/Electronic Equipment (WEEE), Safe handling of WEEE, Proper usage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), statutory duties of collectors as well as the creation of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
Mr. Olugbenga Aleriwon-Daniel of GEF called for collective action that would positively impact and protect generations yet unborn, expressing optimism that the training would positively rub on the participants and enhance a clear understanding of proper management of e-waste, enlighten participants on best practices in handling WEEE and create a better understanding of the roles of informal collectors in achieving circularity in e-waste sector in the country.
In her goodwill remarks, General Manager of LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, who was represented by the Director of E-Waste Management, Mrs. Adedayo Adebayo noted that the training could not have come at a better time, particularly at this crucial period when world leaders are presently gathered in Glasgow (COP 26) to proffer solutions to climate change, through the collective implementation of eco-friendly policies that would reduce the negative impact on the environment.
“Circular economy reduces pressure on the environment, improves the security of the supply of raw material, increases competitiveness, innovation, economic growth and job creation. To drastically reduce the dangers imposed on the society by disposed and dismantled electronics, we must continuously engage our people through education, advocacy, sensitisation and call for attitudinal change against all forms of pollution”, Fasawe averred.
To ensure effective delivery of the message, the facilitators, Mrs. Halima Kolo Mohammed (GEF Project Manager); Mr. Ayinla Sulyiman (LASEPA); Mrs. Esther Oluwapojuwo (LASEPA), Mrs. Chika Anidiobi (LASEPA), Mr. Ibrahim Musa (NESREA) and Engr. Kamoru Yusuf (LAWMA), took turns engaging the participants in interactive sessions in Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo languages for proper understanding of the working protocol guiding recycling operations in the country.
The high point of the event was the presentation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to participants for safeguarding against danger and hazardous materials in the course of their duties.
PIX 1: Mrs. Adedayo Adebayo, representative of the GM, LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe.
PIX 2: E-waste Collectors in Personal Protective Equipments
PIX 3: A cross-section of the e-waste collector