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Computer Aid ships 200,000th PC
The devices travel to schools, hospitals and charities in developing countries where they are used to support the Millennium Development Goals of eradicating poverty, enriching education and improving health and medical care. Together, the 200,000 donated PCs have provided over one billion usable ICT hours to not-for-profit organisations in Africa and Latin America.
At a Computer Aid celebration event in London to mark the achievement, Tom Butcher, the Met Office’s External Relations Manager, explained: “Donated PCs to Computer Aid have helped National Meteorological Services in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia to digitise weather observations which are used to help rural communities make better weather dependant decisions. This type of weather information helps farmers to decide when to plant their crops and which varieties, or combinations of crops, to plant to secure the best yields possible. Poor crop yields can have a devastating and long-term impact on a farmer’s livelihood as well as food security for an entire community. The digitised observations are also vital to improve weather forecasts and severe weather warnings over Africa.”
The project Butcher describes is one of many thousands in place across Africa and Latin America that are helping to improve education, health and agricultural production. Computer Aid expressed its gratitude to individuals and organisations that donate used computers in the UK and also its network of partners that distribute them to those who need them.
Whilst the charity’s efforts have seen a substantial amount of WEEE diverted from landfill, research by the organisation last year showed that much remains to be done to ensure redundant IT is handled appropriately. On behalf of Computer Aid, Vanson Bourne surveyed 100 IT decision makers at 1,000 large UK corporations and found that 57 per cent could not account for all of their company’s redundant PCs, many of which contained potentially sensitive information.
In response to these findings, Computer Aid has published a ‘Best Practice Guide to IT Disposal’.
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