Have you considered taking a walk on any day on the street without a friend, partner or acquaintance but with an open mind? The consciousness of carrying these people at heart without necessarily walking with them in person.
It is apparent many of us don’t recognize with our heart what is really going on in our environment and its implications on our health, to our dear ones, those far and near and even the future.
Take a stroll, this time with an open mind, I beg your pardon; through the many makeshifts ‘slaughterhouse’ we have in this country, particularly in the Greater Accra region and find out what goes on there. It is sad to note our will to earn has rendered us obsolete and oblivious to the greater good of humanity, thus gain without consent or whatsoever.
We have an intent to not really care about the consequences of our actions thereafter, as far as one reaps the benefit in the end. Is this the society we are building?
Well, so to feed my own eyes- consciously, this not for benefit but as a witness to a greater number of people in my community who’s voice still remains unheard, overshadowed by this bleak smoke that hovers above their homes every morning.
What could be the result of this smoke? My wandering mind and weary eyes will soon find out and as expected; the journey leads me to a rancour slaughterhouse; here, on the ground lies cows, sheep and goats numbering about 17 which is being made ready for market consumption, but has the market ever wonder where these animal products do come from and what goes into the production?
There it was, a heap of carbon black tyres arranged vertically much like reaching the heavens and occupying an area half the size of Ghana’s independence square, it looks a bit awry and troubling! Who will not consider this as very hazardous to public health? As if they could hear me talking in my mind, of course- but the answer wasn’t what I dearly hoped for, ‘more tyres!’ Recalled one of the butchers, this was to light more fires in the burning. They burn these carbon black tyres to take off hairs from the animals’ skin and not only that, but they also take away fresh air and harm the environment, too.
Unlike synthetic natural rubber or fabric along with carbon black, materials used in the production of these subtypes of carbon black tyres include acetylene black, furnace black, lamp black, thermal black etc. it is a material produced by the incomplete combustion of heavy petroleum products such as coal tar or ethylene cracking tyre. Carbon black is a form of Paracrystaline carbon and is widely used as a model for diesel oxidation experiment and reinforcing filler in tyres.
The current International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) evaluation is that carbon black is possibly carcinogenic to humans and short term exposure to the high concentration of carbon dust may produce discomfort to the upper respiratory tract through mechanical irritation.
It is to note, this is not only harmful to the human health but the environment as well with the looming issues of climate change implications, however, we have big corporations fighting this undue menace but some (informal) local entities do not see the urgency to play their part in this fight to safeguard our future.
Herein, we find ourselves at the crossroads and the circumstances surrounding it might not be pleasant.
The Onus is on us, to decide to walk with an open mind and point out the wrongs in our society or decide to take along the sympathy of unconcern individuals and turn a blind eye to what is really happening to our environment.
The time will come when we would point fingers at our leaders for not leading this chapter in the fight against environmental and climate health, but now is the right time to turn on a blank page and write our own history for good.
Written by Mac-King T. Thompson