turning ewaste into art at ghanas toxic dump
Last Updated : GMT 09:03:51
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today
Last Updated : GMT 09:03:51
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today

On the blackened ground

Turning e-waste into art at Ghana's toxic dump

Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today

Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today Turning e-waste into art at Ghana's toxic dump

Turning e-waste into art at Ghana's toxic dump
Accra - Al Maghrib Today

Joseph Awuah-Darko sits on a stool at one of the world's largest electronic waste dumps, watching polystyrene and insulation cables burn on the blackened ground.

"It's survival and dystopia," says the 21-year-old British-born Ghanaian, surveying the stretch of wasteland around him as dense plumes of acrid smoke rise into the air.

Awuah-Darko and his university friends have ambitious plans for the sprawling Agbogbloshie dumping ground in Ghana's capital, Accra.

In January this year, he co-founded the non-profit Agbogblo.Shine Initiative, which encourages people working at the dump to turn waste into high-end furniture.

The dump workers typically risk exposure to harmful fumes by burning obsolete and unwanted appliances such as mobile phones, computers, televisions and plastics that are brought to Ghana from around the world.

After burning, they salvage and resell copper and other metals from these leftovers of modern consumer culture.

The dump and scrapyard sit next to the heavily polluted Odaw River in the slum-like area, home to an estimated 40,000 people.

The United Nations has said that salvaging materials for recycling provides income for more than 64 million people in the developing world.

Ghana is said to have the largest informal recycling industry in Africa and imports some 40,000 tonnes of this e-waste annually.

- 'We are suffering here' -

When Awuah-Darko first saw the piles of circuit boards, wires and plastics at Agbogbloshie he decided he wanted to use his artistic talent as a force for change.

So he set up the Agbogblo.Shine project with Cynthia Muhonja, a fellow student from Ashesi University, about an hour's drive from Accra.

They repurpose the electronic scraps, "upcycling" them into furniture, and offer training for the young men who work at the dump to create the pieces.

The students straddle two worlds -- a privileged life on the lush campus of a private university in a forested area, and the harsh reality of life for some of Ghana's poorest people.

Mohamed Abdul Rahim, who is in charge of about 20 young men, has been working at Agbogbloshie since 2008.

The 25-year-old from the north of Ghana works 12-hour days, six days a week. On average the workers make only about 20 cedi each ($4.50, 3.75 euros) a day.

He knows the work is bad for his health but doesn't see any other option. However he is optimistic that Awuah-Darko's initiative will help.

"We are suffering here because the heat is there, the smoke, too, it disturbs us. If we see good work we will go join it and leave this," he says.

The toxic fumes hurt his lungs, while his hips and waist ache from carrying heavy objects to burn. The money he earns supports his mother, wife and three children.

The ground he works on is black, muddy and littered with plastic bags, cables, bottles and broken shoes alongside smashed television sets and computer monitors.

Workers use plastics and polystyrene as fuel to melt down components to extract the copper.

- Grandfather clock -

Awuah-Darko recognises that the people of Agbogbloshie "are basically in pursuit of what we all want, which is a better life".

"Unfortunately, the side effects or the by-product of this is the detriment of their health," he said.

He hopes that his initiative will not only improve their lives but also the planet, as waste from the site is given another life.

Awuah-Darko's first upcycled work is a grandfather clock, made from a galvanised car axle, aluminium and part of a discarded wall clock.

Two high-end hotels in Accra are currently vying to buy the unusual timepiece, he said, and with such interest he has plans to create more and expand operations.

Awuah-Darko sees a future where around 100 people from Agbogbloshie can leave their harmful work to build furniture.

He also wants to exhibit the creations at major galleries around the world and sell them at auction houses.

That would be a world away for someone like Mohammed Sofo, a thin 26-year-old with small tattoos on his face.

But Sofo wants to live in a world where he does not have to burn waste to survive.

"Some people think we are bad because they think we are mad persons," he said.

"If we get money no one will look at us like that. Some day will come when no one will be working here."

Source: AFP

almaghribtoday
almaghribtoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

turning ewaste into art at ghanas toxic dump turning ewaste into art at ghanas toxic dump

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

turning ewaste into art at ghanas toxic dump turning ewaste into art at ghanas toxic dump

 



Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today Skincare PR Performance Full Year 2017

GMT 09:22 2018 Monday ,22 January

Skincare PR Performance Full Year 2017
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today New hunt for flight MH370 gets under way

GMT 11:03 2018 Wednesday ,24 January

New hunt for flight MH370 gets under way
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today Modern colorful bedroom renovation

GMT 10:57 2017 Thursday ,21 December

Modern colorful bedroom renovation
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today Puigdemont candidate for Catalan president

GMT 13:56 2018 Tuesday ,23 January

Puigdemont candidate for Catalan president
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today Turkey detains dozens more

GMT 10:47 2018 Wednesday ,24 January

Turkey detains dozens more
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today The Rake announces editorial updates

GMT 10:46 2018 Tuesday ,16 January

The Rake announces editorial updates
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today Europe brings on charm and blue skies

GMT 11:51 2018 Tuesday ,23 January

Europe brings on charm and blue skies
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today For the Variety of Interior Design Styles

GMT 10:46 2017 Tuesday ,19 December

For the Variety of Interior Design Styles
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today US Christian tourists see deep meaning

GMT 13:44 2018 Monday ,22 January

US Christian tourists see deep meaning
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today Amazon to open first cashierless shop

GMT 10:03 2018 Tuesday ,23 January

Amazon to open first cashierless shop

GMT 16:26 2018 Friday ,31 August

First Paris attacks feature film shown at Venice

GMT 18:33 2018 Tuesday ,23 January

France says it fell short on greenhouse gas emissions

GMT 21:30 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Sisi receives credentials of 7 new ambassadors

GMT 14:52 2018 Sunday ,21 January

Female Sherpa from Nepal scales new heights

GMT 13:04 2017 Monday ,04 December

Saudi coalition warns Yemenis to evacuate rebel areas

GMT 08:58 2012 Tuesday ,22 May

Scary moment for Ferrari P 4/5 in Nürburgring

GMT 11:59 2016 Tuesday ,27 September

Oman court jails journalists, closes down newspaper

GMT 09:22 2016 Thursday ,29 September

Slain Jordanian writer buried amid tight security

GMT 13:03 2016 Thursday ,08 December

Afghan determined to protect cultural

GMT 22:59 2012 Sunday ,07 October

NBB wins best retail bank in Bahrain award

GMT 13:18 2013 Monday ,24 June

Anaheed Fayyad tears up on her Gaza return

GMT 10:53 2013 Tuesday ,15 October

Designer Louboutin wins court ban on anti-Islam ad

GMT 21:53 2017 Monday ,18 September

Rolling Stone, iconic music magazine, looks for buyer

GMT 13:14 2017 Wednesday ,29 March

La Roche Posay adds to Effaclar collection

GMT 07:06 2015 Tuesday ,20 January

LifeWay/B&H crossbooks imprint releases powerful

GMT 01:51 2014 Saturday ,01 November

Mazaya 9-month profit jumps to 87.9m Qatari riyal

GMT 05:09 2012 Tuesday ,25 December

Telecom margins ‘hit by pricing race’
Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today
 
 Almaghrib Today Facebook,almaghrib today facebook  Almaghrib Today Twitter,almaghrib today twitter Almaghrib Today Rss,almaghrib today rss  Almaghrib Today Youtube,almaghrib today youtube  Almaghrib Today Youtube,almaghrib today youtube

Maintained and developed by Arabs Today Group SAL.
All rights reserved to Arab Today Media Group 2021 ©

Maintained and developed by Arabs Today Group SAL.
All rights reserved to Arab Today Media Group 2021 ©

.almaghribtoday .almaghribtoday .almaghribtoday .almaghribtoday
almaghribtoday almaghribtoday almaghribtoday
almaghribtoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
almaghribtoday, Almaghribtoday, Almaghribtoday