Bethlehem is buzzing, with more tourists expected this Christmas than have visited the Biblical city in years, causing the kind of problem that modern technology was almost born to deal with. Such are the crowds at the church built on the site where Jesus is believed to have been born that the authorities are planning to introduce an advance reservation system through an app.
It’s their urban Garden of Eden, but residents of Rio de Janeiro’s most unusual neighborhood face the same fate as the inhabitants of the Biblical version: expulsion.
E-waste, the term given to discarded electronic appliances, is often shipped by developed nations to poorer countries such as Ghana. RTD visits the country’s most infamous dumping ground, Agbogbloshie. Locals call it “Sodom and Gomorrah” after the infamous Biblical sin cities. Its air and soil are polluted with toxic chemicals, while extreme poverty, child labour and criminal gangs are also rife.
Ghana is one of several African countries where electronic goods are sent once they have been discarded by developed nations. Agbogbloshie is an enormous dumping ground near Accra where digital appliances are dismantled for scrap. The process employed by those working there involves burning off plastic casing to uncover metal components. As a result, extremely toxic chemicals are released into the environment. The site operates without any health and safety regulations, and every day those living and working there, including young children, are exposed to substantial health risks. Despite this, many Ghanaians still see the e-waste industry as a vital source of employment.
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