Sanitation is one of the key challenges facing the world as a whole but more so in Africa. In all areas and countries on Earth, Agbogbloshie in Accra Ghana is considered to be the most toxic place among them. In 2016, The Blacksmith Institute, a pollution-centred non-profit organization ranked the Agbogbloshie dumpsite as the most polluted place on earth with Chernobyl coming in second place.
The Abogbloshie dumpsite is located in a commercial district on the Korle Lagoon of the Odaw river, near the centre of Accra. It is the hub for the environmental dumping of electronic waste. Roughly 40,000 of Ghanaian inhabitants live there and over 200,000 individuals are affected by the toxicity of the place. Most of the individuals who work there are transients from the rural areas
The livelihood of the people there is sorting, dismantling and burning if the numerous e-waste deposited there every day. Appliances such as desktop and laptop computers, microwaves, mobile phone, refrigerators, car parts and others are dumped there when they are regarded spoilt and out of use.
It is regarded as the most toxic place due to the method of disposal employed and the decomposition of electronic gadgets. In a report “Ghana annually imports around 215,000 tons of secondhand consumer electronics from abroad, primarily from Western Europe, and generates another 129,000 tons of e-waste every year.” This statistics is increasing alarmingly over the years as more electronics are being imported into the country.
The residents there are exposed to a very high amount of lead, 18,125ppm meanwhile the Environmental Protection Agency standard for lead in the soil is 400ppm. They are also exposed to other deadly compounds like mercury, arsenic, dioxins, furans, and brominated flame retardants. These compounds are highly poisonous as they affect the reproductive system, nervous system and the brain in particular. Almost every food in that area is contaminated with these corporealities and the effects on human health are unlimited.
Over the years, the Ghanaian governments have adopted measures to tackle the toxicity in the area. These measures seek to improve upon the quality of water, food and air in Agbogbloshie so as to maintain and improve the health of the inhabitants. These prove to be futile because the root of the problem is not being handled. There should be facilities that should efficiently process these electronic wastes through the right channels to avoid the pollution caused in this area
I hereby call on all individuals to help solve this problem by bringing onboard safer means of processing these electronic scraps.