After addressing the issue of electronic waste (WEEE for Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment) in Africa and more specifically, in Ghana, this week we present to you the PARO-CI project, Sanitation and Waste Recycling Programme in Cote d’Ivoire, an organization in the environment and sustainable development sector.
To deal with the problem of waste accumulation, Ivorian authorities are encouraging the creation of waste collection centres. «Ivorians must understand that the street is not a rubbish dump and it is important to educate them on how to manage waste, from sorting to recycling and composting, which are potential sources of revenue» Madam Anne Ouloto, Minister for Urban Hygiene and Sanitation stated after visiting two waste management centres at Bonoua in the south of the country.
PARO-CI, a community based organization which aims at significantly reducing the environmental and sanitation burden particularly through its WEEE management platform, hopes to process electronic waste and thereby create value. Established in 2011, this organization has since 2014 supported municipalities in waste collection, separation of household waste and sensitization of people.
As part of its activities, PARO-CI regularly organises hygiene days known as «operation sweep». Aimed at sensitizing people on environmental cleanliness, these operations are organised with a view to ensuring a clean environment by involving all social classes and ensuring that people are aware of the consequences of their actions on the environment.
For its WEEE management project, PARO-CI organises training in recycling for producers and dealers of electronic cables as well as sensitization campaigns for consumers. The organisation thus wishes to encourage good practices. The organization has therefore put in place a huge network of actors involved in the recycling of WEEE throughout the country: scrap dealers, electronics experts and repairers… PARO-CI brings on board an appropriate solution to structure a sector which, until now, has mainly been informal. The actors in this sector work in extremely precarious conditions and simply do not adhere to basic safety regulations. This creates serious environmental and sanitation problems.
Electronic waste is collected in the markets, from businesses, offices, various repairers and from households. The valuable and recyclable part of the waste is then sorted: aluminium, copper, iron, steel and circuit boards can be recovered, reused and/or resold. With respect to IT equipment, they can be repaired and refurbished. This initiative fits perfectly into the circular economy logic. Platforms and workshops on reprocessing have therefore been put in place. PARO-CI is also committed to organising a follow up of its projects and undertake research into this type of activity.
We hope that this example will be emulated in Cote d’Ivoire and in the neighbouring countries where PARO-CI has also been invited to share its experiences and even been in the limelight such as in Cameroon and Senegal.