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Mike Anane: “Europe sees Ghana as a dumping ground for electronic waste”

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Author: 
Marta Catena
  • Mike Anane, journalist and environmental activist.
    Mike Anane, journalist and environmental activist. Source: Marta Catena.
  • Every month Ghana receives between six hundred and eight hundred e-waste containers.
    Every month Ghana receives between six hundred and eight hundred e-waste containers. Source: Mike Anane.
  • Microplastics have been found in the lungs and blood of humans. This problem has serious effects on the health and natural environment of the country.
    Microplastics have been found in the lungs and blood of humans. This problem has serious effects on the health and natural environment of the country. Source: Mike Anane.

The journalist and environmental activist fights against the illegal exportation of electronic waste to developing countries.

Mike Anane, son of Accra, the capital of Ghana, has investigated, documented and fought for more than twenty years against the biggest problem that the country suffers: the illegal exportation of enormous quantities of electronic waste. It has transformed many zones of Ghana into gigantic landfills, which is the case of the Agbogbloshie neighborhood. Every month, Ghana receives between six and eight hundred containers full of residues from Europe and the United States.

This is a huge issue related to climate change, which is affecting directly to the health of Ghana’s population: a large number of citizens are ingesting toxic substances and chemicals that provoke different types of cancer.

Many regulations have been created and established to avoid the illegal exportation of waste to Ghana, like the Basel Convention, current since 1992 and signed by more than a hundred and eighty countries which pledged to stop sending residues to developing countries that don’t have the appropriate facilities and resources for their recycling or disposal. But, no government has executed or respected this law.

We have had a conversation with Mike Anane, who was visiting Barcelona in the context of ‘Ciutats Defensores dels Drets Humans’, to analyze in more detail this tragedy, that has been affecting Ghana for more than twenty years. ‘Ciutats Defensores dels Drets Humans’ is a project coordinated by the Fons Català de Cooperació al Desenvolupament and managed by Comissió Catalana d’Ajuda al Refugiat.

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