Wastebasket of Agbogbloshie
- The Agbogbloshie dump is the largest and most polluting electronic dumpster in the world.
- More than 40 million tons of electrical waste are generated worldwide each year.
- The big producers of these wastes are China, the United States, Canada and the countries of Europe.
- Only a small part of this scrap – around 15.5% – is recycled in the so-called “first” world, with effective and safe methods from the environmental point of view.
- The rest is packed in containers and sent to third world countries such as Ghana.
- The majority of this electronic scrap arrives at the Agbogbloshie dump, in the heart of Accra.
- Agbogbloshie receives 600 containers of electronic waste every month.
- There, men, women and children extract copper, aluminum and other materials.
- To extract these metals, they have to burn electronic scrap, that they can not recover.
- This burning has to be permanently stirred with a stick, so that the metals can come off.
- The strong toxic gases, generated by those burnings, cause irreparable damage on the men and on the children. The life expectancy in the dump hardly reaches 30 years.
- “Sodom and Gomorrah”, as this garbage dump is known, is classified as the most polluted place in the world. Even ahead of Chernobyl.
- Once extracted, at the human price we have seen, these metals are again shipped to the factories of technological products from the “developed” countries.
This is one of the main dramas for the children who live on the streets of Accra. About a third of the world’s electronic junk ends there. Every year about 5 million unusable electronic devices land in Agbogbloshie.
Electronic scrap is “imported legally” as “technological aid to the third world” and, once parts of the pieces are recovered and metals are extracted, they are then “exported” to Europe, the United States or China. This “business” is controlled by large international plots.
In this garbage dump there are more than 40,000 people, many of them boys and girls, who live in the middle of this poisonous electronic cemetery.
They know perfectly well that, every day, they are dying from smoke and pollution, but the sad reality is that, if they stop doing it, they have no means to survive.