MUNTAKA CHASANT
PEOPLE & STORIES
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Agbogbloshie: Rain and Fire

More than 55% of Ghana’s population is under the age of 25. Coming mainly from areas with low literacy rates, thousands of young people migrate from rural to urban areas such as Accra in search of economic opportunities every year. But the unemployment rate in Ghana is higher in urban (13% in 2015) than in […]

May 26, 2020

May 26, 2020

14 Min read time

Urban Poverty: Young men are burning cables in the rain to reclaim the copper materials inside at Agbogbloshie, Ghana. Many of them had escaped hunger and poverty in their villages to Accra in search of economic opportunities, only to end up in a cold, harsh urban environment, engaging in hazardous work. © 2019 Muntaka Chasant

More than 55% of Ghana’s population is under the age of 25. Coming mainly from areas with low literacy rates, thousands of young people migrate from rural to urban areas such as Accra in search of economic opportunities every year. But the unemployment rate in Ghana is higher in urban (13% in 2015) than in […]

More than 55% of Ghana’s population is under the age of 25.

Coming mainly from areas with low literacy rates, thousands of young people migrate from rural to urban areas such as Accra in search of economic opportunities every year. But the unemployment rate in Ghana is higher in urban (13% in 2015) than in rural areas (10.2%).

The Greater Accra Region has the third-highest unemployment rate in Ghana among persons 15 years and older — after Upper East and West. For urban areas, Accra ranks 4th, with more men (15.4%) without jobs.

More than 26% of persons aged 15 – 35 in urban areas in Ghana have no education at all. With no formal education, many of them end up in the informal sector, doing all sorts of hazardous work.

Nearly 600,000 males aged 15 years and older are in informal employment in Greater Accra, the region where Accra, the capital city, is located.

The stats above throw a little light on the situation at Agbogbloshie, and why things may not improve anytime soon due to the increasing rate at which young people are escaping hunger and poverty in Ghana’s rural areas.

You can see what I have taken an interest in the lives of these men.

For me, their tenacity to live and their will to survive, even in the rain, in Accra’s impoverished and decaying urban environment, is worth documenting.

Read more about this problem here:

RELATED: Agbogbloshie, Ghana: Questions & Answers

Young Urban Poor Men Working in The Rain

The photo above: the young men are burning electrical wires to recover the copper wires inside. Copper sold for GH₵10.00 (around $1.73) per kilo at Agbogbloshie in May 2020.

The cables are brought in like this:

A little closer:

It had been raining, and the men stood near the fire, with some walking through the thick toxic smoke, to keep warm.


Here’s one that keeps replaying in my head.

It had been raining, and the men stood near the fire, with some walking through the thick toxic smoke, to keep warm.

Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

© 2020 Muntaka Chasant

May 26, 2020

14 Min read time

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