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Economic Boom or Environmental Doom E-waste Scavenging as a Livelihood Strategy among the Youth in Accra, Ghana

, : Economic Boom or Environmental Doom E-waste Scavenging as a Livelihood Strategy among the Youth in Accra, Ghana.

In a rapidly urbanizing Accra, most individuals especially the youth tend to make a living by engaging in novel occupations such as e-waste scavenging for want of formal employment. Although there is a body of knowledge about such activities as sources of livelihood for the urban poor, none comprehensively examines the merits of these new enterprises and encouraging their occasional sensational castigation by some commentators who discuss the process as unidirectional, from production, to consumption to disposal. While non-government organizations tend to overstretch the negative aspects, scholars interested in their socioeconomic values also overtrumpet these potentials. Through qualitative and quantitative studies in the largest scrap yard in Ghana, this study fills this lacuna. It provides an invaluable insight into a complex gamut of e-waste recycling in Accra which can impact on poverty reduction. The findings reveal that an average e-waste collector earns about 3.5 adaywhichisabovethedailyminimumwageof2.15. Despite this livelihood opportunity, the process is fraught with adverse environmental hazards. This signals the need for an ideal mix of the informal sector experience and formal sector technology to create the platform for efficient exploitation of the economic value of e-waste and ensure sustainable environmental management.


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