Shocking pictures of toxic 'electronic graveyards' in Africa where West dumps old PCs, laptops, microwaves, fridges & phones

Broken: Defunct televisions, computers and keyboards (pictured) are transported to west-African countries like Ghana  because 'it is cheaper than recycling it properly in European Union nations'

Harrowing images reveal one of west-Africa's vast electronic graveyards where 'millions of tonnes' of discarded appliances from all over the world - including the UK - are being dumped every year. Thousands of broken televisions, computers, microwaves and refrigerators are being illegally exported to African countries and dumped gigantic landfills like Agbogbloshie in Ghana because it costs less than recycling them in their countries of origin, campaigners claim.

Profit: Locals in Ghana's capital Accra intercept trucks carrying the discarded products and buy the products without testing them - to later sell them in the city's market (pictured)

41 million tonnes of 'e-waste' worth over £34billion were discarded globally in 2014, according to shocking report by United Nations University who claim only 6 million tonnes of that was recycled properly. The UK contributed 1.5 million tonnes of waste to the staggering 11.6 Europe generated last year - putting it behind only Germany as the continent's greatest contributor.

That dwarfs the 1.9 million tonnes produced by the whole of Africa and yet the continent's western nations have become a dumping ground for the world's defunct products. Some of the appliances even leak toxic elements such as lead and mercury which harms the environment and the young men who trawl through the broken goods hoping to find something worth selling.
Dumped: E-waste graveyards in Africa (pictured) are damaging the health of the scavengers and the local environment, according to a United Nations University report

The shocking images taken by e-waste campaigners QAMP reveal how countless household appliances have contaminated what was once the 'pastoral landscape' of Agbogbloshie in Accra. 'Developed countries export millions of tonnes of electronic waste annually into developing countries such as Ghana,' the group based in the country claims on its website.

Hazardous: Yepoka Yeebo - a photographer who has visited the fields of Agbogbloshie - says the electronic waste (pictured) 'leaks lead, mercury, arsenic, zinc and flame-retardants'

Photographs show young boys trawling through the western world's scraps, dismantling old stereos and burning components to recover scrap metal - which they will sell for small amounts of money.
Transporting broken or expired electronics to Africa is illegal but brokers exploit a loophole by fraudulently labelling the items as reusable, according to the Head of United Nations University who believes Africa is becoming 'a graveyard for e-waste'.  

Desperate: Local Ghanaian's sift through mounds of old chargers in the hope that some of the still work and can be sold at market

When massive containers arrive in Ghana and Nigeria, they are trucked to remote locations where the locals can buy the products directly without testing them to later sell in markets, Dr Ruediger Kuehr told MailOnline. He believes legal shipments can help close the digital divide between Africa and the west but said: 'If it turns out that this equipment arriving in Africa is no longer of use, there is no longer a market existing or that they are getting real waste… then we are having a real issue.'
Share on Google Plus

About Abula Gist

'Tunde Ojedokun is an Editor working for Lappyphone, he loves technology. You can't see him without a gadget. .


Post a Comment