Agbogbloshie Development Project

Agbogbloshie Development Project

Country: Ghana
In partnership with: Self-Help Initiative Support Services
Funded by: Comic Relief
Period: Feb 2012-2014

Around 70,000 people live in squalid conditions in Agbogbloshie, the largest slum in Accra (also known as Old Fadama). There is dumping of industrial waste, overcrowding, poor quality housing, few sanitary facilities and the threat of eviction. Drug abuse and prostitution are common and rapid population growth in the slum has resulted in a high concentration of people at risk from HIV/AIDS and environmental health hazards.

The Agbogbloshie Development Project (ADP) improved the quality of life for people living there, particularly women and young people, by mobilising slum dwellers and the government to improve local conditions. Local people received practical training to enable them to earn money, and were helped to form community groups so they can negotiate better housing and take part in community improvements.

The main beneficiaries were:

Women - We provided training in health care, vocational skills and by providing income generation support through micro-credit schemes. Many of our trainees were former street porters or kayayo.

Young people - We provided training schemes for young people and ran health and micro-credit initiatives. We provided assistance in learning arts and craft skills for employment. We also raised environmental awareness amongst scrap dealers who collect metal from discarded electronic or 'e' waste that is dumped nearby.

Commercial sex workers - We retrained sex workers who face exploitation and stigma, by helping them gain new skills and find employment in the workplace.

Disabled - We raised awareness of the rights of people with disabilities, equipping them with employable skills and promoting their involvement in local activities.

People living with HIV/AIDS – We supported people living with HIV to overcome discrimination in the job market, find work or get new entrepreneur skills.

Children - We worked with a local school in the slum with help from project interns to raise standards through providing books and other learning materials.

Area and community based organisation representatives were also trained in leadership skills. This has allowed them to act as local representatives to council and sub-metro officials.

As a result of our health work in the slum, a maternal health care clinic and an HIV/AIDS testing clinic were established in Agbogbloshie, in collaboration with the local hospital and polyclinic. This led to the formation of the Agbogbloshie Health Forum, supported by the government, which works closely with the Agbogbloshie Development Project.

Bamboo bikes

Fifty bamboo bikes made in Ghana were distributed to community leaders, health care workers and teachers in Agbogbloshie in order to assist them in their work.