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CREDITS

Director: Artyom Somov

Producer: Nato Rostoshvili

Executive Producer: RTD

Writer: Vitaly Buzuev

Genres: Documentary

Demographics: All audiences

ToxiCity

Ruptly - Documentary Collection
25:54

On the outskirts of Accra, Ghana lies Agbogbloshie, one of many enormous dumping grounds where the developed world sends its discarded electronic goods to be forgotten. One of the most toxic and polluted places on the African continent, this notorious scrapheap is, paradoxically, the main source of livelihood for the local people.

Many men, women and children spend their days disassembling the tonnes of waste that are shipped in, burning off the plastic casing to uncover metal components which they then sell for scraps. This can fetch a person between $3 and $10 per day, but at the cost of their health, as they inhale a steady stream of dangerous toxins released in the process.

The site operates without any health and safety regulations, and even small children are common among the workers, with most even calling the place home too. People sleep, eat and raise their cattle on the site, leaving them exposed to the fumes and their long-term effects 24/7.

The place is ravaged by pollution, poverty, child labour and criminal gangs – earning it the nickname of “Sodom and Gomorrah”, after the Biblical cities of sin – and yet many locals still look to Agbogbloshie as a vital source of employment. ToxiCity interrogates how this can be allowed to continue, and opens up the lives of those who pay the price.

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