Last Thursday I was able to get the day off of work and spend it learning about composting through the Utilization of Organic Waste to Improve Agricultural Activity Project (UOWIAP) initiative here in Accra. Living in Oregon you would think I would have a good base knowledge about the wonders of composting, but I learned so much that day about what composting really is and the good it can do in a community.
We spent a lot of time first at a market, where within 30 minutes the whole back of the truck UOWIAP brought was full of old fruit and vegetables. The air turned into an acrid sweet smell and little flies were everywhere. I watched and took video as basket after basket after big bag of waste was thrown into the truck. Men in rubber boots climbed on top of the pile to step on it in order to flatten and make room for more. Finally, we drove out to the farm UOWIAP owns as a training center for farmers to learn about composting. The back of the truck was unloaded and the beginnings of a new compost pile began.
UOWIAP is working so hard to make composting in all the markets here in Accra a reality, and is therefore very excited to have us make a video. They have passion because they see the extreme waste within the markets and see the opportunity for change. Widespread composting would not only save waste, but it could help the Ghanaian economy and industry. It could create jobs, better farms and less chemical fertilizers. It could do so much good and UOWIAP is dedicated to making it happen. It was so exciting to spend the day wrapped up in their passion project.
Lastly, while we were milling around the market, we were shown the waste station where currently the bulk of waste is taken. Currently, people pay to dump their waste at the station (UOWIAP takes organic waste for free). Because we were taking photos and video of the waste station, the man who ran it insisted on a picture. These are shown below.