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A quick glimpse of how one of the worst places on earth looks like in January 2019


By Muntaka Chasant | 436 words | Reading time: 1.5 min




Agbogbloshie 2019

Agbogbloshie, Accra, Ghana/ 28 January 2019


We have received scores of email asking about the scene below (first photo), and how such a place could exist. I captured this scene while on a working visit to the area on 18 December 2018.


See also: Sodom and Gomorrah (Agbogbloshie) - Ghana


Thousands living in this area face varying degrees of environmental health risks, including exposure to particulate and gaseous pollutants.


As a control measure, we launched an air pollution awareness campaign in Accra's low-income areas to help increase local knowledge of the adverse impact of poor air quality on human health.


Air pollution is linked to more than 28,000 premature deaths in Ghana every year, figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) reveal.


Ghana’s annual mean levels of particulate pollution (PM2.5) far exceed the WHO guidelines on outdoor air quality - 31.1 micrograms per cubic meter [μg/m3] of ultra-fine particles of 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter which can penetrate and lodge inside the cardiovascular system.


The WHO recommended annual guideline for outdoor PM2.5 is 10 μg/m3. 


PM2.5s are linked to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.


Globally, air pollution causes about 24% of all adult deaths from heart disease, 25% from stroke, 43% from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and 29% from lung cancer, WHO estimates show


See also: Air Pollution Killing More People in Ghana


See also: Air Pollution in Ghana: Causes, Effects and Solutions


I returned to the scene below on the 40th day since our publication to see what has happened.


Here’s before and after:


Agbogbloshie, Ghana | Muntaka Chasant

Agbogbloshie, Accra, Ghana/ 18 December 2018


Agbogbloshie 2019 | Muntaka Chasant

Agbogbloshie, Accra, Ghana/ 28 January 2018


I crossed the Odaw River to the Agbogbloshie scrapyard to see how things are going.


Not looking good.


For those who wonder why we haven’t attempted to stop this - we cannot. Private entities rarely influence public policy in developing countries. I’m sure Ghana will be more than happy to spend US or World Banks’s money to attempt to stop this. Ghana certainly wouldn’t put up all the money for it.


So yes, we agree with you, this “primitive” method of metal recovery should not have a place in Accra, especially not anywhere near the center of the capital and its largest open food market.


Curious for more?


See also: "Urban mining" and Air Pollution in Accra, Ghana


See also: Videos and Photos of Agbogbloshie, Ghana


See also: Agbogbloshie and Air Pollution in Accra


See Agbogbloshie video below:




Agbogbloshie - A short film






Please leave your comments below, and let us know what you think!








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Comments (2)

  • Charles

    Hello Muntaka Chasant ,

    Is there any way I can contact you personally? I am a Ghanaian student studying in Germany and would be writing a thesis on Agbogbloshie in collaboration with Tauw in the Netherlands. Thank you.

  • Ellis

    @ Charles,
    Thanks for your comment. I have just forwarded Muntaka’s direct contact to the email address (n********0@gmail.com) we have on file for you. He’ll be more than happy to help I’m sure.


    ATC MASK Marketing Team.

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