Yvette Tetteh and the Or Foundation complete historic swim across entire Volta River

Yvette Tetteh and the Or Foundation complete historic swim across entire Volta River


Yvette Tetteh and the Or Foundation complete historic swim across entire Volta River

The Or Foundation has successfully constructed a solar-powered research vessel, which will be utilized to map ocean pollution along the coast of Accra. Ensuring safety during the expedition, Yvette was accompanied by a kayaker. Ofoe Amegavie, the expedition documentarian, and Edwin Dzobo, the Science Lead and Communications Manager of The Or Foundation, demonstrated their dedication by kayaking hundreds of kilometers, potentially setting a record for the longest distance kayaked in Ghana. The final leg of the expedition held personal significance for Ofoe, as he hails from Ada and has dedicated much of his career to documenting the adverse effects of changing water patterns in the coastal area. With a keen understanding of the intricate relationship between humans and the environment, Ofoe documented the remarkable human-environment interaction while swimming in Ghana’s largest waterway.

This expedition builds upon one and a half years of scientific research conducted by The Or Foundation on the environmental impact of secondhand clothing waste in Ghana. As one of the largest recipients of used clothing globally, Ghana receives an estimated 15 million items of secondhand clothing from countries like the EU, the UK, and the USA every week. Shockingly, approximately 40% of each bale of secondhand clothing opened in Accra’s largest secondhand market, Kantamanto, is discarded as waste. This alarming statistic has led to significant environmental and social consequences in a country where the only engineered landfill exploded in 2019 due to overwhelming volumes of clothing waste. The Or Foundation has documented numerous textile tentacles—tangled masses of discarded clothing, some exceeding ten meters in length—along Accra’s beaches. The ongoing Agbetsi Living Water Swim aims to track the impact of textile waste throughout the country. The word “Agbetsi” originates from the local Ewe language in Ghana and translates to “living water,” a fitting name for an expedition dedicated to preserving Ghana’s waterways.

Upon reaching Akosombo, The Or Foundation team, led by Enoch Nsoh, the Special Projects and Logistics Manager, collaborated with local boat builder Benlex Engineering to transport the boat overland around the Akosombo and Akuse dams. During this phase, Yvette received support from the Bravehearts Expeditions team to swim between the two dams.

In addition to Yvette’s daily swims spanning 10 to 20 kilometers, the expedition crew—which included boat captain JayJay Addo-Koranteng, documentary photographer Ofoe Amegavie, environmental artist Isabel Abreu, and Edwin Dzobo—collected daily water and air samples using the same protocols as The Or Foundation team in Accra. Furthermore, the expedition crew engaged with communities along the swim route, sharing information to keep them informed about the progress of the expedition.

To further amplify their cause, The Or Foundation has published a unique collection of stories titled “The Untold Stories from The Volta.” These 12 commissioned stories showcase the Volta River System and the people residing along its banks. Accessible through the campaign website https://livingwaterswim.org, these stories provide invaluable insights. On May 19th at 6pm, The Or Foundation will host an open screening of the film stories on the rooftop of their Adabraka office in Accra.

The project website contains numerous photos of the water samples collected during the expedition. The Or Foundation intends to publish an in-depth analysis of their findings in the coming months. In the meantime, citizen scientists and aspiring swimmers can engage with the expedition by watching video updates, listening to daily dispatch audio diaries, and exploring the Untold Stories collection, all available on the website https://livingwaterswim.org. They can also follow @livingwaterswim and @theorispresent on Instagram for regular

Source; Ameyawdebrah.com
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