In Photos: The Agbogbloshie Problem.
Waste management in many African countries is a major problem. From littering, to proper sewer disposal, many muncipalities often ignore their residents needs in these areas. In fact, to blame everyday citizens as the source of these problems would not only be missing the true source of the issue, but you would also be ignoring just how useful many of the individuals and communities across Africa have become in countries were the authorities responsible have turned a blind eye to the side-effects of poor waste management.
Ghana is one such country. Over the past several years, various images and documentaries have highlighted one particular area of the country where highly toxic waste, in the form of ill-disposed electronics from Europe, the US, India and China is dumped illegally in Ghana’s Tema Harbour and recycled, in what is also a lucrative business for some.
In what was once a wetland and recreation area, e-waste now mars the former picturesque landscape, causing mass-scale pollution in the process. Agbogbloshie is the world’s biggest e-waste site that the around 40, 000 settlers have nicknamed ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’. Most of the ‘workers’ here are young men aged between 7-25 who sift through the e-waste in search of resellable materials, such as copper, earning around $2.50. As a result of the intense and toxic labour they engage in, many of these young men succumb to a myriad of diseases such as untreated wounds, back and joint problems, damage to their lungs and other internal organs, eye issues, chronic nausea, anorexia, respiratory problems, insomnia, and worst of all, cancer.
The images above are from a photographic study carried out by Kevin McElvaney and featured on Al Jazeera’s website.
What I love most about these photos is that, whether intentionally or not, McElvaney features most of the single individual photos on a make-shift ‘podium’ (resourcefulness, once again) almost as if to say that these people are above the rubbish that surrounds them. Not only in a literal sense, but in a figurative sense, too.
|—||Charles Bukowski (via hauntedhallways)|
I am so tired that every night when I got back to hotel I am like this…. (at Novotel Beijing Sanyuan Hotel)