Spanning about four acres (1.6 hectares) of wetlands just beyond Accra city limits, the slum of Old Fadama—also known as Agbogbloshie—is home to some 40,000 Ghanaians living in extreme poverty. While living conditions are challenging in one of West Africa’s largest slums, members of this innovative community use discarded machinery, appliances, and old computers to forge a living through creativity, ingenuity, and a positive outlook toward improving their neighborhood.
Grasping the dynamics of Old Fadama is critical to understanding the capital city as a whole. While it’s possible to visit Old Fadama alone, a guided walking tour provides a sensitive introduction to the area while ensuring the safety of travelers. With a tour guide from the community, visitors can meet Old Fadama residents, hear their stories, and gain a better appreciation for the inventive ways the community salvages trash into a profitable treasure.
Things to Know Before You Go
- A walk through this community can be an educational experience, offering visitors the opportunity to learn about the area’s history.
- Wear closed-toed shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces.
- Some Old Fadama tours donate proceeds to the funding of community projects.
How to Get There
The Old Fadama slum sits on the Korle Lagoon, northwest of Accra’s Central Business District. Due to the nature of the district and the sensitivity surrounding slum tours, it’s best to visit with a tour guide who understands the community and can offer valuable insight into daily life in Old Fadama.
When to Get There
Old Fadama is best visited during the day, when it’s possible to witness the salvaging industries in full swing. In Accra, humidity and precipitation are at their lowest between October and April, making these months the most comfortable time of year to visit.
A Note on the Ethics of Slum Tourism
We are sensitive to the issues and concerns surrounding slums, and we understand that tours of them may not be suitable for everyone. We strongly believe that these tours are educational and allow for a better understanding of life inside Old Fadama.