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Title:Livelihoods in risk: exploring health and environmental implications of e-waste recycling as a livelihood strategy in Ghana
Author:Amankwaa, Ebenezer Forkuo
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies (ISSN 0022-278X)
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:waste management
informal sector
urban economy
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/43302038
Abstract:Ghana's pursuit of socio-economic growth has necessitated joining the information communication technology (ICT) revolution, thus increasing the consumption and obsolescence rate of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and the creation of what is popularly called e-waste. The absence of legislation governing its importation and disposal, combined with the dynamics of Accra's urban economy, including neo-liberal policies and lack of formal job opportunities, has triggered people's ingenuity to engage in novel occupations such as e-waste recycling. Though a lucrative strategy, it comes with a price for those involved: environmental health risks, a fact well articulated by a burgeoning literature. Nevertheless, little empirical evidence exists relating to this perceived relationship. Using questionnaires, focus group discussions and in-depth interviews, this study fills the lacuna. The survey captured six main clusters in the value chain of e-waste recycling: collectors, recyclers, refurbishers, middlemen, scrap dealers, and petty traders. All the participants indicated that e-waste recycling is very lucrative, supporting their families/dependents, and most of them were aware of the health and environmental risks. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]