The telecoms industry in Uganda is being called upon to have more corporate social responsibility. Although admittedly the telecoms industry has contributed greatly to the economic development of the country in recent years by making communication not only easy but affordable, it also needs to ensure it minimises the negative effects it has on society.
This is particularly so in the disposal of mobile phones once they’ve reached the end of their life. Most of the e-waste produced comes from obsolete mobile phones and computers.
The awareness of consumers who place value on sustainability and environmental issues in Uganda is rising, so telecoms companies who do put emphasis on investment of the safe disposal of electronic waste will make themselves look more appealing to this market.
Some suggestions that the telecoms companies can consider are:
- Investment in research and the building of facilities to dispose of electronic waste in a safe and environmental way.
- Setting up used phone collection points across the country – refurbished phones can be sold on and phones that have no value can be disposed of responsibly.
- Using the proceeds for the reuse programme to provide help for charities.
- Investing the funds from the sale of old phones into solar panels for rural schools or rehabilitation of civil war victims.
All of these are ways which will show that mobile phone recycling is a priority for the telecoms industry in Uganda and that they are accepting responsibility for helping to reduce e-waste produced in the country.