Meet the young man turning e-waste from Ghana’s toxic dump into an art

Meet the young man turning e-waste from Ghana’s toxic dump into an art

Whenever the Agbogbloshie dump site is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is filth and harmful emissions.

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However, for Joseph Awuah-Darko, the ‘rejected’ products dumped at the site have more use than many people actually think.

Meet the young man turning e-waste from Ghana’s toxic dump into an art

Ghanaian artist Joseph Awuah-Darko works on a clock, the pieces of which were found at the Agbogloshie dump site. Credit: AFP

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The young Ghanaian has admirably made a grandfather clock from a combination of discarded aluminium and galvanized car axle.

The 21-year-old’s resolve to turn e-waste into an art first came to the limelight after his works were featured by international news agency AFP.

On a daily basis, the British-born Ghanaian and his team go to the Agbogbloshie dumping site in Accra in search of waste.

For a place known to be a dump site for obsolete mobile phones, computers and other plastics, they burn these products in a bid to turn them into high-end furniture.

Earlier in 2017 Awuah-Darko co-founded the Agbogblo.Shine Initiative with a colleague at the Ashesi University called Cynthia Muhonja.

The Agbogblo.Shine Initiative is a non-profit organisation that seeks to encourage people working at the dump to turn the plastic wastes into arts.

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The project aims at retraining young men to be able to “upcycle” electronic scraps into furniture or other pieces.

Due to the fact that their work requires burning of scraps into copper, Awuah-Darko and his friends are usually exposed to harmful fumes.

One of the men currently working with them is 25-year-old Mohamed Abdul Rahim, who is also in charge of 20 men.

In an interview with the AFP, Mohamed explains that he works for six days each week, while also revealing that he makes GHc 20 per day.

He, however, admitted that their health is put at risk due to the toxic smokes and fumes that they inhale on a daily basis.

We are suffering here because the heat is there, the smoke too, it disturbs us. If we find good work we will go join it and leave this one,” Mohamed is quoted as saying by AFP.

Meanwhile, Awuah-Darko has successfully upcycled a grandfather clock, which he made from a galvanized car axle and discarded aluminium parts.

Plastic and electronic waste products have some use after all, and that is now know because of the initiative being undertaken by this 21-year-old man.

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Source: Yen.com.gh

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