Agbogbloshie, Accra is a collosal e-waste dump proven to be one of most poisonous places in the world.
They call it Sodom.
Every year, about 250.000 tons of devices from a far away electrified and digitalized world end up here.
Everybody in Sodom is in some way or another living off the blessings of the computer age, many die of them.
Like all coins, Agbogbloshie has two sides. On one side there is the pollution and toxic fumes. On the other, there are those working to reveal the area’s hidden potential.
Life on the dump becomes a picture puzzle of our modern globalised civilisation,
short-lived technology becomes the metaphor for a capitalistic luxury, throw-away society.
"The toxic fumes rise into the sky, poison the air and then settle on the soil and on the vegetables sold at the market".
The consequences fall directly on the inhabitants’ shoulders.
This is the place where the curse of the digital consumer's madness becomes manifest.
Sodom is the true end of our modern digitalised world.
This large market supplies enterprises, offices and households with second hand electrical appliances and electronic devices, which is how devices which have already lived a first life can start a second one in Africa.
But all those objects that are already broken on arrival – in violation of the Basel Convention, which bans the transportation of hazardous waste, including non-operational electronic devices, between countries – and those that die out after their second use end up in the local dumping grounds.
Here, men and children extract copper, aluminium and other materials, using harmful methods to health and the environment.
The e-waste these boys and girls burn hundreds of kilos of electric cables to extract the copper and then resell it for just a few cedis per kilogram.
“Agbogbloshie is a gigantic open air factory, where anyone can pick up waste or scrap material and give it a new life.”