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Undercover in Accra: Unveiling Ghana’s E-Waste Crisis

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Dp E Waste In Ghana Carmignac Photojournalism Award
Dp E Waste In Ghana Carmignac Photojournalism Award

Report on E-Waste Crisis in Ghana: Investigative Reportage by Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Muntaka Chasant, and Bénédicte Kurzen

In a groundbreaking investigative journey spanning from the bustling ports of Europe to the impoverished neighborhoods of Accra, Ghana, a team of journalists and photojournalists has unveiled the harrowing reality of the transboundary flow of electronic waste (e-waste). This collaborative reportage by Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Muntaka Chasant, and Bénédicte Kurzen, supported by Fondation Carmignac, sheds light on the ecological and human toll of a global trade that exploits both ends of the spectrum – from European discarding of electronics to their hazardous recycling in West Africa.

The Scale of the Crisis: Globally, 62 million tons of e-waste were generated in 2022 alone, with a staggering 82% increase since 2010. Despite containing valuable metals like gold and silver, only a fraction (22.3%) of this waste is responsibly collected and recycled through dedicated channels. This imbalance fuels a lucrative, yet detrimental, cycle where developed countries offload their obsolete electronics onto developing nations like Ghana.

From Europe to Ghana: Tracing the E-Waste Trail: The investigation traces the journey of e-waste from European ports, primarily Rotterdam, to the shores of Ghana. Despite international treaties prohibiting such dumping, Ghana has become a major destination for these hazardous materials. The report exposes the loopholes and corruption that allow this illegal trade to thrive, undermining both environmental regulations and human rights.

Life on the Ground: Embedded within the communities of Accra, Muntaka Chasant documented the daily struggles and resilience of those involved in e-waste recycling. From young migrants seeking economic opportunity amidst unemployment crises in Ghana’s northeast to local artisans extracting metals from discarded electronics, the report captures the human face of an industry often overlooked.

Anas Aremeyaw Anas: Unveiling Corruption and Legal Loopholes: Working undercover, Anas Aremeyaw Anas infiltrated the ports of Accra, revealing the covert practices that enable the unchecked influx of e-waste. Using tracking devices implanted in illegal shipments, Anas’s investigation uncovered systemic corruption and complicity, both in Europe and Ghana, that perpetuate this illicit trade.

Exhibitions and Impact: The culmination of this year-long investigation will be showcased through three international exhibitions in Paris, Arles, and New York. These exhibitions aim not only to raise awareness but also to stimulate global dialogue and policy action on the management of e-waste and its impact on vulnerable communities.

Conclusion: The reportage by Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Muntaka Chasant, and Bénédicte Kurzen represents a powerful testament to the urgent need for international cooperation and stringent regulations to address the e-waste crisis. As the world grapples with escalating environmental challenges, their work serves as a poignant reminder of the human and ecological costs of unchecked consumerism and inadequate waste management practices.

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