Council donates computers to Africa

OLD computer equipment from Banbridge Council offices will soon find a new home in a school or college in Africa as part of a charity scheme.

The project aims to donate the equipment to places in desperate need of computer access in a bid to help improve their educational system.

Over 40 pieces of computer hardware, which includes computers, monitors, laptops, print servers, hubs, routers and keyboards, are currently with Belfast-based charity Camara Education Limited.

The charity will refurbish the second-hand computer equipment and pack it with educational materials before shipping it to schools and colleges in the African countries of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Lesotho and Rwanda. Council Chairman Jim McElroy said they were delighted to be able to help.

“In donating this equipment, the council recognises the need for accountable electronic waste recycling is more important than ever,” he said.

“We’re delighted that our donation will give school children in Africa an opportunity to access IT and improve their education.”

The Council said it chose to support the charity’s ‘Education for Africa’ programme because it safely disposes of the computer equipment once it finally reaches the end of its useful life in Africa, usually after five years. This is the second donation the council has made to the programme in two years.

Ann Fitzpatrick, project co-ordinator for Camara explained the environmental and educational benefits of reusing redundant computer equipment.

She said, “Two per cent of global carbon emissions can be attributed to IT, and a comprehensive study reveals that reusing a computer is some 20 times more effective at saving life cycle energy use than recycling.

“Thanks to Banbridge District Council, we can support the educational needs of many more school children in Africa.”