, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 19 – Nokia has partnered with local mobile service providers and retail outlets to collect and dispose off counterfeit phones, ahead of the planned switch-off of these devices by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK).
The handsets manufacturer has partnered with Safaricom, Airtel, Nakumatt, Naivas, Phonelink, and Tuskys to ensure an additional 100 collection points are set up across the country for consumers to dispose of the fake phones.
Ahead of the CCK’s planned switch-off end of this month, there has been mounting concern amongst Kenyan NGO’s, environmental agencies and consumers as to what will happen to the devices once they are discarded.
“Consumers in Kenya, like in many countries across the globe, are unaware of the environmental benefits of recycling their broken or unwanted mobile phones, “says Bruce Howe, General Manager for Nokia East Africa.
The number of counterfeit handsets in use around the country is estimated at over two million, and it is feared that once switched off the handsets will end up in landfills, contributing to the growing e-waste threat in the country.
“The reality is that mobile phones contain many valuable and useful materials that can be recycled, including precious metals and plastics. In fact, for every one million phones recycled, it is possible to recover nearly 35kg of gold and 350kg of silver, which can be re-used in the production of future electronic goods, “he added.
Nokia is also working with the Anti-Counterfeits Authority (ACA), National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), as well as local operators to encourage consumers to dispose of these fake handsets in a responsible manner by recycling them.
CCK has set September 30 as the official deadline for operators to switch off fake mobile phone handsets.