The number of mobile phone users in the world is expected to pass the five billion mark by 2019 and yet little discussion on the policy level has been made towards what happens to the appliances we purchase and dispose of every year. When people throw their computers, cell phones and home appliances away, their cast-offs often go on a journey across the oceans, to Africa. Agbogbloshie is located in Accra, Ghana, home to the largest informal recycling industry in Africa. Most migrants settle illegally in Agbogbloshie, the country’s largest slum, nicknamed, even in the media, ‘Sodom & Gomorrah.’ What once was an abandoned wetland is now known as one of the world’s biggest e-waste sites. It is home to many settlers from poor, rural parts of Ghana who make a living buying, selling and collecting the precious metals found in discarded electronics. These are predominantly shipped in from the Western world as ‘second hand products’. Many people argue that the dump provides necessary income for people who would otherwise have no means of earning money. They say that, instead of being shut down, Agbogbloshie should become a prototype for responsible recycling.
KOFI AND LARTEY
Kofi and Lartey are old friends who work on the e-waste dump and have a strong bond. Much of this has developed through working together on the dump by burning and dismantling e-waste and materials to extract precious metals to sell. Kofi and Lartey are a lively duo who don’t have dreams and ambitions outside of Agbogbloshie until they meet Abdallah who inspires them to hold a camera and tell their own story.