1 / 6
Agbetsi Living Water Swim
Agbetsi Living Water Swim Swimming the Volta - Enoch Nsoh
2 / 6
Yvette Tetteh - Ofoe Amegaive Courtesy of The Or Foundation
3 / 6
The Woman Who Does Not Fear Travels on The Volta Lake - Ofoe
4 / 6
Happy times - Enoch Nsoh Courtesy of The Or Foundation
5 / 6
6 / 6

450km Swim & Research Expedition

Close to a year in the making, 
Ghana's first ever swim + research expedition down the entire length of the Volta River.

From March through May 2023 I swam 450 km along the Volta River as part of the Agbetsi Living Water research and environmental expedition. The expedition traversed Ghana from Buipe in the Northern Region, to the Ada estuary in the South.

The Volta River has been a lifeline for generations; for its resources and for transport. For many Ghanaians, it is sacred and to be protected. However, like most ecosystems, the river is increasingly exposed to global contaminants, including synthetic microfibres. These microfibres originate from atmospheric deposition or from local human activities—namely wearing, washing, and drying clothes. Much remains unknown about these microfibres, so a good place to start is in mapping and understanding their abundance and potential source.

The Agbetsi expedition builds on existing research about the ecotoxicological impacts of secondhand clothing waste on the environment. This research, which is carried out by The Or Foundation, an organization that works at the intersection of environmental justice, education, and fashion development, includes how pollution from second-hand clothing consumption is felt in communities and ecosystems throughout Ghana—especially in Accra where tons of textile waste inundate communities.

To learn more about the second-hand clothing waste crisis, please visit stopwastecolonialism.org and consider signing the petition. Read about my experience, in my words, for The Guardian here.

Instagram – 

Living Water Swim

Impossible is just a feeling
Powered by @theorispresent, supported by @bravehearts.expeditions & @gtvghana

Website – 

Agbetsi Living Water

Imagine a future where the beach is clean and the waters clear. A future where fishing nets catch fish, and not trash. A future without discarded clothes washing up along the banks of our rivers, burning on our roadsides, or towering over the homes of thousands of people at the place once regarded as a sacred lagoon...

Article –

Why I am Swimming 450km

Accra’s waterways are bubbling with synthetic microfibers and material debris after decades of nonstop waste-dumping by countries in the Global North. Yvette Tetteh is swimming the length of the country’s longest river to draw attention to the urgency of the problem...

Media – 

BBC Africa Daily

We regularly hear about plastic pollution – but what about textile waste? An activist is swimming the length of Ghana's longest river...

Joy News Ghana

Water Pollution: Woman swims the whole length of River Volta to raise awareness - Joy News (19-4-23)

Using Format