- Created: Sunday, 20 April 2014 09:18
We found a large exposure to toxic chemicals contained in the batteries in the village of Sagbadaï, which represents a real health and environmental disaster. With our limited means, we explained to the villagers of the danger they face, we proposed and implemented solutions, and now we will assist in the development of appropriate sustainable responses.
During our first visit to the primary school, we found the presence in the middle of the school a pile of shattered batteries. The teachers told us a that these batteries were used by students to blacken school boards, with the black chemical products that they extract.
This chemical product contained within the battery is known to be highly toxic; containing notably heavy metals (mercury, cadmium, lead, nickel), that the human body cannot eliminate. Heavy metals cause serious long-term diseases: kidney disease, blindness, significant dysfunction, birth defects, neurological, reproductive disorders, allergies, cancers, and many others.
At school, there are 18 blackboards, to be blackened twice a year in this way. At a rate of more than one hundred batteries per blackboard, this represents thousands of broken batteries per year! This phenomenon is common in all schools (kindergarten to high school) of Togo, and probably even in all of Africa.