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 mobile operators to switch off fake mobile phone handsets.
"All counterfeit handsets shall be switched off on September 30th this year," Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) Director General Francis Wangusi said at a press conference in Nairobi. "There shall be no further extension of this deadline. We have followed all required channels in implementing the directive and the public has had enough time to comply and look for alternative certified gadgets."
He said the commission previously conducted a three-month public awareness campaign as advised by a technical team comprising officials from CCK, other government agencies, manufacturers and mobile phone operators in Kenya charged with supervising the transition.
In accordance with the Kenya Information and Communications Regulations of 2010, all mobile devices entering the country must be certified to be operational. Contravention of this statute can lead to a fine not exceeding 300,000 shillings ($3,500), imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both.
To know if your phone is genuine or fake in Kenya? Do the following
- Dial *#06# to establish your handset’s IMEI. Copy the 15-digit number displayed on your screen.
- Type the 15-digit number (IMEI) and SMS it to 1555. Once is enough to verify, otherwise you will be charged normal SMS rates if you send the fourth time.
- If the IMEI is found in the GSMA database, you will receive a confirmation message showing the brand name and model number. If the number is different or not found in the GSMA database, then your mobile phone is not genuine.