Gov’t Disregards Environmental Concern as Ban on Airtime Scratchcards is Lifted

  • by Dennis Ola
  • August 9, 2018

For the environmentally conscious, Electronic top up is a powerful E-waste Management mechanism on scratch cards.

The move would have partly reduced on E-waste since airtime cards are widely considered dangerous to the environment.

However, Government has lifted the ban on Airtime scratch cards that had been imposed not more than 48 hours ago.

The decision to lift the ban was reached in a meeting in the Conference hall of parliament involving the speaker, Rebecca Kadaga, telecom companies, members of parliament, the Information Communication and Technology-ICT Minister, Frank Tumwebaze and Uganda Communications Commission officials.

UCC had set July 31st 2108 as the deadline for phasing out airtime scratch cards across all networks.

It also follows concerns from security that scratch card vending is directly linked to the sale of illegally registered simcards, which are dependent on scratch cards that can’t easily be traced.

However, MPs opposed the proposal, saying the move would impact heavily on rural phone users given the limited penetration of electronic airtime vending. On Thursday, MPs asked Government to suspend the ban and leave the matter to market forces.