Agbogbloshie: Health Post, Technical Training Center and Football Pitch officially opened
On 27th March the official commission of the Health Post & Technical Training Center as well as the renovated Football Pitch took place. The opening event was attended by around 2000 people, including key actors from the German Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ghana Health Service and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).
The Technical and Economic Cooperation Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany gave rise to the “Environmentally Sound Disposal and Recycling of Electronic Waste” (E-Waste Programme). The Programme for Technical Cooperation is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by "Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH" in partnership with the Ghana Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI). The programme started in 2017 with the overall objective to improve the conditions for sustainable management and disposal of electronic waste in Ghana.
One of the levels of intervention concentrates on the informal sector, with particular attention to the Old Fadama scrap yard, commonly known as Agbogbloshie. The aim is to strengthen small-scale recyclers through capacity building on an individual and institutional level, as well as reduce risks to human health & environment by implementing best practices for collection and dismantling. In light of this, the E-Waste Programme has supported the construction of a Health Facility & Technical Training Center, funded by the State of North–Rhine Westphalia (NRW), and the renovation of a Football Pitch, supported by Sports for Development Africa (S4DA). A training concept focusing on economic efficiency, improved access to services, reduced exposure health risks and environmental protection has been developed, and trainings will be held regularly at the Training Center on the Old Fadama scrap yard.
The successful commissioning of the Health Facility, Technical Training Center and Football Pitch took place on 27th March 2019 and was visited by around 2000 people, including key actors from the German Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ghana Health Service and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA). “The dedicated cooperation of these three Ministries is a big success factor to all our accomplishments”, stated Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah, Mayor of Accra. He also said it was essential to continue to identify synergies between the different partners in order to strengthen the informal sector in Ghana.
The event highlighted the beginning of the transformation of Agbogbloshie from a nuisance for Ghana and its people into an environmentally sound scrap park. “Today we celebrate the first visible step towards a new narrative of Old Fadama”, commented Markus Spitzbart, Head of the E-Waste Programme at GIZ. “The transformation towards an improved e-waste recycling and scrap park needs to start from within and we are motivated to continue our efforts to improve the conditions here together with our partners.”
The key note speakers of the day included Dr. Oswald, Director-General of BMZ, who mentioned: “Being here at Agbogbloshie I can see that the scrap yard is a very challenging place to work with a lot of environmental and occupational health problems. It is not the “hell on earth” like it is often reported in the international media, however, we need to work hard to make it a place where about 10.000 scrap workers earn a living under improved health and environmental conditions.”
Highlights of the Event also included the theatre performance by Laugh for Lives Africa, as well as an unveiling ceremony and blessing by an Imam and a Priest, followed by celebrations with music and dance on the newly renovated footpall pitch.
Furthermore, several partners of the E-Waste Programme displayed their own efforts to tackle the challenge inside the newly commissioned building, including Caritas Ghana and Chance for Children. The event emphasized once more the importance of combined efforts in order to change the narrative of the scrap yard and unfold its full potential of becoming a place of environmentally friendly resource recovery.
View some pictures of the site before and after the construction / renovation here