Digital dumping ground in Ghana: a study on potential impacts of e-waste in Agbogbloshie

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Despite the growing use of electronic products, waste recycling efforts are not expanding at a proportional pace, and places in the Global South like Ghana are left with toxic waste sites like the one at Agbogbloshie that are arguably an indirect result of Western consumer capitalism. In spite of significant international attention, the e-waste trade in Agbogbloshie continues to persist, prompting the need for a more comprehensive look at the potential impacts of its continuation on the environment and human health. By examining the potential impacts of the e-waste trade in Agbogbloshie through a critical geography lens, it is hoped that a more nuanced account can assist restoration efforts that minimize harm to the communities that live in and rely on the e-waste trade. This thesis presents an analysis of seven video interviews specific to different careers concerning e-waste in Agbogbloshie with a particular emphasis on the identification of the potential impacts of the e-waste trade. Utilizing transcribed interview footage alongside existing literature and applying qualitative analysis techniques, several conclusions were reached based on the main thematic points identified: workers know e-waste is harmful to their health, e-waste is a significant source of income for many people, the disconnect between the formal and informal sectors makes restoration efforts difficult to coordinate, and the future of skilled workers is in jeopardy. Although far from comprehensive given the small sample size, these interviews lend a great deal of insight into the potential human and environmental impacts of electronic waste in Agbogbloshie.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation