Electronic Waste In Ghana… No More?

We pulled this from a 2008 article on Greenpeace.org. We have come a long way from 2008 to 2012. With USA firms like Computer Reach  partnering with established computer support companies like Africa ICT Right , we can see hope. We still rely on donors and volunteers like you to make a difference.

The ever-growing demand for the latest fashionable mobile phone, flat screen TV or super-fast computer creates ever larger amounts of obsolete electronics that are often laden with toxic chemicals like lead, mercury and brominated flame retardants. Rather than being safely recycled, much of this e-waste gets dumped in developing countries. Previously, we have exposed pollution from e-waste scrap yards in China and India. Nigeria has also been identified as a dumping ground for old electronics.

During our investigation into the shady e-waste trade, we uncovered evidence that e-waste is being exported, often illegally, to Ghana from Europe and the US. We visited Ghana to investigate workplace contamination from e-waste recycling and disposal in the country.

In the yards, unprotected workers, many of them children, dismantle computers and TVs with little more then stones in search of metals that can be sold. The remaining plastic, cables and casing is either burnt or simply dumped:

Compare that story to our recent work with ACCRA in Ghana.