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West Africa faces a rising tide of e-waste generated by domestic consumption of new and used electrical and electronic equipment, according to a new United Nations report.
Domestic consumption makes up the majority (up to 85 percent) of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) produced in the region, according to the study, Where are WEEE in Africa?
The e-waste problem in West Africa is further exacerbated by an ongoing stream of used equipment from industrialised countries, significant volumes of which prove unsuitable for re-use and contribute further to the amount of e-waste generated locally.
In the five countries studied in the UN report (Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, and Nigeria), between 650,000 and 1,000,000 tonnes of domestic e-waste are generated each year, which need to be managed to protect human health and the environment in the region.