Digital waste is an issue that is now impossible to hide from. Every year millions of people buy a new digital device. A new technology. A new appliance. What nobody is thinking is where all of the old stuff goes. The video reported by Peter Klein, Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground shows where the digital waste is disposed, and how this disposal has been affecting many populations around the world. Moreover, the documentary shows how each one of us is also susceptible to hazards because of the wrongful disposal of materials.
Ghana has become a country that is nothing more than a trash can in an open sky. Klein shows that every year thousands of e-waste containers arrive in the Nation, polluting and putting in danger the population from Ghana. The youth residents enter in the disposal camps without any protection, and with no regulations. The young people collect the material they find useful, in order to separate those that can still be sold, such as gold or even working computers. By exposing themselves to this trashier, they are threatening their lives with the smoke coming from the burning plastics.
In addition to the pollution and the threat to Ghana’s population, there is also the danger for the people that wasted the electronics. In the documentary, Klein reports that a large portion of the electronics that arrive in the country comes from the United States of America. Part of those electronics are computers’ hard drives, which still contains personal data from their previous owners. It led Ghana to be one of the most dangerous countries in cyber-crimes. What happens is when a hard drive is backed up, someone can still all the personal information inside the drive and use it electronically.
Unfortunately, Ghana is not the only country used as e-waste disposal. China, India, and a few other developing countries are also focus of digital waste dumping. Those countries suffer with poor populations, susceptible of doing almost anything to earn money. Klein shows in the video that most of the people who get involved in collecting the digital waste are not even aware of the consequences of such activities.
However, as shown in the documentary, there is no hope that this waste activities are going to get any better. The solution available is a better management to the electronic waste. The management has to come from each government in each country. There will be no development while there is negligence from corporations and governments on the electronic waste disposal.
Here is the video that I am talking about:
Klein, P. (Reporter). (2009, June 23). Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground. Frontline World: PBS. Video retrieved from: http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/ghana804/video/video_index.html