How The Odaw River Depicts An Environmental Time Bomb In Accra

Human activities around the Odaw River and Agbogbloshie, both in Accra, are fast becoming an environmental time bomb, ticking away ferociously to explosion.

For over 12 years, the Daily Graphic has brought to the fore the hazards from the electronic waste (e-waste) that has been mounting on the banks of the Odaw, which environmentalists say poses dangerous threats to respiratory health.

Twelve years on, the situation has not improved, with scavengers now moving from Agbogbloshie and spreading their unhygienic activities in other parts of the city, including the median of the Graphic Road, especially behind the Beyeeman Cold Store.

For long hours every day, the scavengers burn the waste from their collection, which results in thick smoke drifting into the sky, a situation which, according to health experts, could create both short and long-term respiratory challenges for people who pass by that area.

Additionally, the area is fast becoming an abode for squatters, some of whom have moved out of the slums at Old Fadama to find new ‘homes’ there.

It has also become a safe haven for some people, particularly the youth, who move to Accra from other regions in search of greener pastures.

As a result, the Odaw River is constantly choked, and particularly during the rainy season it overflows its banks, flooding the abode of people and surrounding offices.

The area hosts global companies such as Toyota, Japan Motors, Rana Motors and Silver Star, a number of filling stations, banks, the Graphic Communications Group Ltd and Letap Pharmaceuticals.

Other businesses likely to be affected include the Odawna garages, spare parts dealers and general merchants.

The Daily Graphic is, therefore, calling on the authorities, particularly the metropolitan and municipal assemblies under whose jurisdiction the area falls, to act immediately to defuse this environmental time bomb.