In the second encyclical Laudato Si of Pope Francis, he critiques consumerism and laments environmental degradation and global warming. He calls for immediate action regarding waste management, even mentioning electronic waste in particular. In response to this call, Caritas Ghana shall develop and operate local structures for sustainable e-waste management. The Caritas E-Waste Project “Care for our Common Home” has been launched in October 2017. Mr. Samuel Zan Akologo, Executive Secretary of Caritas Ghana together with his team, will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate the functioning of the e-waste collection project in an open Q&A format.
Population growth, rising prosperity and changing consumer habits have led to the increasing use of electric and electronic equipment in Ghana. The country is confronted with growing quantities of e-waste. Second-hand electric equipment is arriving in Ghana and around 15% of these imports are already e‑waste when disembarked at the shores. Besides, with the emergence of new technologies, older versions are frequently discarded and yet the newer technologies will also soon come to their terminal periods.
The Caritas Ghana E-Waste Project is to develop and run a collection system for e-waste. The network of over 5,000 institutions and buildings of the Catholic Church of Ghana will be used for this purpose. Caritas Ghana is mobilizing the many unemployed idle youths to man the collection centres for genuine income. The collected WEEE will be dismantled following a state-of-the-art process by the recycling partner City Waste Recycling LTD.
Caritas Ghana will accompany their actual collection with public education and advocacy for the implementation of relevant laws on sanitation, environment and hazardous waste management in Ghana. This is a comprehensive way of enhancing the social and economic impact of technologies which would have been discarded while also addressing environmental concerns.