Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) has partnered with Eldoret Polytechnic to establish an E-waste collection center at the institution.
The initiative aimed at encouraging proper E-waste disposal and creating awareness on end-to-end E-waste disposal will see Safaricom establish a central collection point that will serve the wider North Rift region and its environs.
Safaricom Head of Regulatory and Public Policy, Mercy Ndegwa said academic institutions play an important role in shaping future business leaders hence the reason for collaborating with the institution.
“We want to be part of the solution to this budding problem that is threatening our ecosystem,” Ndegwa said. “As a company, we understand the importance of sustainable business practices. We consider the effects of our activities on natural resources and the environment and try to minimise these effects. We recognise that environmental considerations are not separate from our core business, but integral part of our overall business strategy.”
Statistics show that in Kenya, over 20 million people use electronic devices mainly mobile phones. Studies show that most electronic devices have a mixture of various toxic components that can cause harm even at low levels of exposure necessitating proper disposal.
According to the World Health Organisation, E-waste connected health risks may result from direct contact with harmful materials such as lead, from inhalation of toxic fumes as well as from accumulation of chemicals in soil, water and food. It adds that children are especially vulnerable to the health risks that may result from E-waste exposure.
In its latest Sustainability report, Safaricom indicates that it has collected over 430 tonnes of e-waste which is the equivalent of 78 adult African elephants.