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Indiscriminate Disposal Sites of Municipal Solid Waste at the Buduburam Refugee Settlement in Ghana

The following photos were taken during a 45 days field research at the Buduburam Liberian Refugee Settlement in Ghana in partial for the academic requirement for the Master's of Arts degree in International Development and Social Change at Clark University. The study was funded by Compton Foundation through the Department of International Development, Community, and Environment at Clark University. A full report of the study entitled: "Liberian Refugees in Ghana: Environmental Security Implications of the Indiscriminate Disposal of Municipal Solid Waste is currently being considered for publishing and I will update this page once that process is complete.

The purpose of posting the following photos from the field research is to solicit and promote national and international awareness and education of the environmental and health risks that are associated with the indiscriminate disposal of solid waste in the local environment. All the photos were taken by Research Assistants, who were duly acknowledged in the full report. I will try to engage each photos with captions that capture specific issues  to the project.


National Catholic Secretariat (NCS) solid waste dumpsters donated by UNHCR. These dumpsters are located in every community at the Buduburam Refugee Settlement and members of the Sanitation Team of the NCS regularly collect and dispose the dumpsters on a daily basis.


Recording waypoints of an open dumpsite at the camp with a Garmin Global Positioning System.
I am standing on a drainage system built by UNHCR that runs throughout the camp. These drainage systems are filled with solid waste disposed by camp residents.
UNHCR Dumpsters used to collect solid waste 

Solid Waste Station at the camp


Close zoom in at dumpsite at the churd
Open dumpsite by the building of the
Shepherd Church of the Nazarene




Sign post to community members by local activists/volunteers
 to stop dumping waste in an open field about 10 meters from homes.

Human waste and other waste products are openly discarded
in the community.

Human feces from a public latrine built by the UNHCR and
maintain by NCS openly disposed in the middle of communities exposing
them to air, water and land pollution, which are drivers of various diseases at the camp.

An uncovered pit containing human feces.

A public/community bathroom being misused as dumpsites
by residents at the camp. The black plastic in the photo contain human feces.
An unmanaged drainage system passes in front of the
homes of camp residents containing both liquid, solid and human (feces) waste.

The Landfill at the Buduburam Refugee Settlement located about 2 miles east of the camp.
A member of the NCS/UNHCR sanitation team poorly equip unloads
dumpster filled with municipal solid waste.


One of the two traitors donated by the UNHCR to the NCS for the
collection and disposal of solid waste.

Opened burning without mechanical, chemical or biological processes is the
common process of waste processing at the camp that is being used by the NCS causing extreme air pollution and various environmental risks for local Ghanaian villages and individuals.

An almost damaged and dyfunctional dumpster still be used  by
the NCS to transport MSW.

A local Ghanaian lady seeks way to collecting items from the landfill that
can still be used/recycled.

The burning of waste happens everyday of the year except
New Years day and Xmas holiday.







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