A recent report published by the United Nations (UN) forecasts that global electronic waste is likely to increase to 50 million metric tonnes (Mt) in 2018.

Obviously, this is not good news, especially considering Nigeria alone generates about 1.1million tonnes of e-waste annually.

But to put it in the right perspective, it is important for there to be an understanding of what e-waste is.

E-waste is a popular, informal name for electronic products nearing the end of their "useful life."

Discarded computers, televisions, VCRs, stereos, copiers, and fax machines are common electronic products and they pose a threat to the environment.

“Thus, it is only in enlightening the people on the e-waste crisis, and training the informal handlers on standards of operation, that Nigeria can successfully tackle its electronic waste issues."

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These were the words of Ifeanyi Ochonogor, the President of a non-governmental organisation focused on tackling the electronic-waste crisis within the country and the West African region.

During the inaugural meeting of its board of trustees on Tuesday, February 27, at Sheraton Lagos Hotel, Ikeja, the E-waste Relief Foundation (ERF) laid out their plans.

They want to educate Nigerians on the dangers of improper e-waste management, and the right solutions that are available to stop the crisis at hand.

The ERF is determined to tackle the e-waste crisis within Nigeria and even around West Africa with technology and in accordance with international environmental standards.

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Bad e-waste management can expose us to harmful materials such as lead, cadmium, chromium, brominated flame retardants or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), from inhalation of toxic fumes, as well as from accumulation of chemicals in soil, water and food.

The good news is that many of these products can be reused, refurbished, or recycled but how would the process start from the people?

"It is in making people understand the threats we face, that they see reasons to join in the process of putting an end to the e-waste challenges that beset us," Ochonogor pointed out.

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