Urban Ghetto

Inhabitants of urban ghettos live, eat, work and relieve themselves on the land and amongst the waste



The population of urban ghettos usually consists of economic migrants from the northern and rural parts of Ghana, where living standards are growing worse, causing people to move to urban settings within city areas.


Conditions may not be significantly better, but making a living is easier. Inhabitants of such urban ghettos live, eat, work and relieve themselves on the land and amongst the waste. Children who are able to attend school often spend every evening and weekend processing waste searching for metals. Dwellings are wooden shacks that lack water and sanitation. The areas are also home to armed robbers, prostitutes, drug dealers and others involved in underground markets. Crime and disease run rampant throughout these ghettos, creating an almost uninhabitable environment for humans.


The areas are usually dumping grounds for electronic and other waste products from various parts of the world, which is creating serious environmental concern. E-waste contains toxic chemicals that are emitted into the ground, water and atmosphere when the electronics are broken down, burned and processed. Poisons such as lead, mercury, arsenic, dioxins, furans and brominated flame retardents seep into the surrounding soil and water, thereby seriously polluting the landscape. It is a major health risk to the inhabitants.


Exposure to these fumes is especially hazardous to children, as these toxins are known to inhibit the development of the reproductive system, nervous system, and the brain in particular. 80% of the children have dangerous levels of lead in their blood. Inhabitants often suffer from chronic nausea, headaches, chest and respiratory problems.

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