A partnership between Orange Cameroon, Fondation Camerounaise de la Terre Vivante (FCTV) and Emmaus International aims to recycle mobile waste from Cameroon.
The three parties presented their project to government authorities and the public in the Bonaberi neighbourhood, Douala. According to Cameroon’s Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ART) about 87% of Cameroonians use mobile phones, with many having two or three devices. Mobile users produce a sizable amount of waste that adds up to the 5000 tonnes of wastes collected by the Sanitary and Hygiene Enterprise of Cameroon (HYSACAM) every day in Cameroon.
Representatives of the three institutions revealed during the meeting that, the 13 tonnes of mobile wastes collected by the Non-Governmental Organisation, FCTV from three regions of Cameroon including Centre, Littoral and South West regions in 2016 would be recycled in France. The ceremony also saw a 40 feet container filled with mobile waste – the first shipment sent to Havre, France for recycling.
The project will support waste management in Cameroon, which is yet to develop a waste segregation and recycling method permitting the collection of specific wastes. “The project is in line with the government’s action to promote a healthy environment,” prides Wagnoun Valentin, Inspector N°1 of the Ministry of Environment Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development.
1 battery risk polluting 400 000 litres of water
Mobile wastes present a high risk for the environment. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) says a single battery could pollute 400,000 litres of water when it reaches the water table. “The risks are mainly in terms of health and endangering our environment, because in the process of making mobile phones, there are many polluting materials used,” said Hubert Fodop Djojo, Country Representative of Emaus International, Cameroon. Mr Hubert Fodop estimates a battery could pollute up to 600 000 litres of water.
Samuel Ngondi, Director of Public Relations, Orange Cameroon said it is the corporate social responsibility of Orange Cameroon to eliminate all materials issuing from its activities. “We are proud that our commitment to preserving the environment is in line with the options taken by the public authorities, which in the case of Cameroon have developed a national strategy to combat electrical and electronic waste,” he added. A few days after the presentation of the project, Orange Cameroon opened a mobile waste disposal network at Orange retail points for the public to dispose used mobile materials