From the village of Ampento, I may walk along a straight path leading directly into Ghana’s forest bush. From the ground, pineapples grow among long skinny leaves that bend outwards like fireworks. Maize stretches parallel to palm trees, and vibrant, pink cocoa pods (ready for plucking) hang from the sides of thick tree trunks. Within the shorter grass, I may walk amongst the graves of villagers who lived and died as farmers, and who were buried to rest in the very land they tended.
Deep inside the bush, the Ampento River flows across the main path. The water bears the color of strong lager, and plays host to numerous bugs that skim lightly across the liquid’s surface. Plants drape elegantly over the river, softening the sight of pollution. Before the establishment of pumps, the villagers used this river’s water to drink, satisfying their thirsts with technological waste.