International Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 3 Issue 6 2013- June 2013    Pages: 2172-2185  <<Previous    Next>>

Globalization of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and consumerism in developing countries: Confronting the challenges of e-waste disposal in Harare urban, Zimbabwe

Author Information:

Joseline Wadzanai Chitotombe

Department of Social Ecology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Great Zimbabwe University,
Zimbabwe, Box 1235, Masvingo, Zimbabwe

ABSTRACT

Over the past decade consumerism of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in Zimbabwe has increased through lifting up of import duty by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. Mobile telepathy is on the grip as cyber culture manifests through usage of smart phones, lap tops and i-pads taking precedence over other orthodox communication channels. Social networking has been promoted through face book, whatsapp, Twitter, Skype, Viber, you tube, G-talk as well as Khuluma. Network expansion through broadband has also facilitated use of personal computers especially for career professionals and academics as evidenced by higher Institutions of learning which have resorted to e-brary. Mobile e- banking has intensified through eco-cash, mukuru.com and e-mali facilitating the transfer of cash currency.  Primary sources of data such as unstructured interviews and key informant interviews were used to solicit data on the causes of e-waste drivers in Zimbabwe, challenges associated with increased ICT usage as well as strategies devised to deal with these transcending challenges. Secondary sources of data were also employed in the study. From data gathered during the course of the study it is evident that conspicuous consumption of ICT eventually adds up to the e-waste stream when ICT equipment becomes obsolescence. This is due to the short life span of ICT equipment sold on the market, with mobile phones lasting up to 2 years and computers up to 4 years. When disposing off obsolete ICT it is common to mix electronic and garbage waste which eventually finds its way in local authorities open dumpsites or undesignated dumpsites. In Zimbabwe there is only one local authority in Bulawayo with a general waste landfill. Moreover, local authorities do not have hazardous waste landfills and lack the financial backup to enhance environmentally sustainable practices making environmental law on hazardous e-waste difficult to implement.

Keywords: Hazardous e-waste, cyber culture, import duty, local authorities.

DOI:10.6088/ijes.2013030600033

© 2013 Copyright by the authors, licensee Integrated Publishing Association.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (3.0) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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