Ghana, a country in West Africa, is home to one of most toxic landfills in world. Private companies and individuals bring e-waste to Ghana from other countries, which contains large amounts of toxic chemicals, including heavy metals, carcinogens and neurotoxins. The irresponsible people in Ghana handle this waste irresponsibly, and many of it is dumped on open land or buried in deserts, causing serious environmental damage and causing an ecological crisis. Such behavior not only violates environmental regulations, but can also pose a serious threat to health and lives of local residents. Despite international conventions prohibiting dumping of waste, Ghana has become one of largest e-waste recycling centers in world.
The village of Agagpe in Ghana has been dubbed one of most toxic landfills in world, where a large amount of electronic waste has accumulated. Waste is shipped in from all over world, including Europe, America and Asia, and illegally dumped here. These wastes contain various toxic and harmful substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium and other heavy metals, which have caused great harm to environment and human health.
The landfill problem in Ghana can be traced back to 1980s, when government began importing foreign garbage, hoping to solve local garbage problem. However, trash is dumped in an area called Abagbo, populated mostly by poor and struggling people. These residents are unaware of dangers of this garbage and are unaware that this garbage can pose a threat to their health and life.
Over time, size of this landfill is getting bigger and bigger, garbage is dumped constantly, and more and more people live in area. Due to garbage pollution, ecology in this area is deteriorating day by day, and health of residents is also beginning to threaten. Residents of Abagbo area are reported to be suffering from cancer and other diseases associated with waste pollution.
This e-waste is disassembled and processed by local people who dismantle electronic equipment with their own hands and simple tools and recover some valuable materials such as metals and plastics. However, these dismantling processes release large amounts of toxic and harmful substances, causing serious environmental and health problems.
This e-waste not only harms environment and human health, but also puts economic pressure on local communities. Lacking means and skills, locals make a living dismantling e-waste, a job that pays poorly and causes long-term damage to their bodies.
In 2019, a documentary titled "Getting Out of Plastic Dilemma" revealed real-life situation of a landfill in Ghana that caught world's attention. In documentary, you can see piles of plastic bags, discarded electrical appliances, used tires and other rubbish piled up in mountains. These wastes not only threaten environment and health, but also affect local economy. Due to severe pollution, land in area can no longer be used for planting and construction, leaving residents with no income.
In face of this dilemma, government of Ghana and international organizations have begun to take action to address problem of this landfill. For example, government has begun to restrict importation of foreign garbage and to strengthen processing and management of garbage. In addition, international organizations provide assistance to local residents in garbage collection, return of land to sustainable use and other support.
Despite Ghana's waste and other problems, it also has limitless potential and opportunities. Ghana is one of fastest growing countries in West Africa with rich natural resources, a young population and a growing economy. The government is trying to diversify economy, encourage foreign investment and entrepreneurship, create jobs for young people, and strengthen education and infrastructure.
Ghana's culture and tourism industry also has great potential. The country's rich cultural heritage and beautiful beaches are attracting more and more tourists. The government is actively promoting tourism in Ghana and hopes to make it one of tourism hubs of West Africa. Ghana has unlimited development potential and opportunities for future. Government, businesses and people can work together to overcome current difficulties and challenges, lay a solid foundation for Ghana's future development and create a better future.