E-waste has become an important environmental and public health issue, not only at global scale but also in low- and middle income countries as well. Many of Electrical and Electronic Equipments (EEE) contain hazardous chemicals and materials. For this reason, inadequacies in recycling and disposing of electronic waste (e-waste) can cause serious health and environmental pollution problems. Great care must be taken to prevent unsafe exposure in recycling operations and prevent contamination of the environment. In recognition of the potential environmental and health impact of e-waste, many countries have embarked on programs for e-waste management. The e-waste management programs are implemented as either specific e-waste policies or in a form of legislations. Availability of data on e-waste is therefore of paramount importance in these endeavors.
The National E-Waste Statistics Report, 2019 (NEWSR, 2019) is the first comprehensive analytical report on e-waste statistics in Tanzania Mainland. Most of the prior studies on e-waste conducted in Tanzania Mainland were limited in scope of EEE covered, or were primarily focused on addressing gaps in environmental legislations to give more impetus to e-waste issues. The NEWSR, 2019 features analysis of data on importation of EEE in Tanzania Mainland from Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA); data on mobile phone subscriptions from Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) and the selected stock data of EEE from Household Budget Surveys conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics. Capacity building on compilation of e-waste statistics and tools for data analysis were provided by the SCYCLE team from the United Nations University (UNU). The NEWSR, 2019 presents statistical estimates in the following dimensions of e-waste namely:- EEE Put on Market (POM); e-waste generated; stock and the penetration rate of some Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Due to lack of data, other dimensions of e-waste such as e-waste formally collected; recycled; imported and exported and the e-waste collection rate were not explored in this report.
The NEWSR, 2019 has helped shed light on the problem of e-waste in Tanzania, which had remained largely unknown. The report will be useful in various national programs for e-waste management, especially the National Environmental Policy (NEP), which is being reviewed to incorporate the emerging environmental challenges such as climate change and e-waste. The report is also useful in monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially goals number 3, 6, 8, 11, 12 and 14 which are relevant with issues of e-waste.