gold mines

gold mines

Digging the Future

13h ago
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Digging the Future What sort of a future does a miner in northeastern Burkina Faso have - as he breaths the black earth full of poisonous lead, day in, day out, bringing bags full of stones from the depths of the incredibly narrow shafts of the artisan gold mines - some up to 60 meters deep? Anything that keeps him from thinking about today or tomorrow. While grinding the ore, heavy metals attack his lungs, find their way into the soil under his feet and into his drinking water. The mercury and cyanide he needs to extract the gold, which in turn shines for the clients, destroy his body and poison the soil he depends on forever. About 15,000 miners work in the area just around Bani. A third of them are children. They are the children of the mines. Most of which have never been to school. For many of them, the mines are their only home. The International Labor Organisation considers mining one of the worst forms of child labour owing to the immediate risks and long-term health problems it presents with exposure to dust, toxic chemicals and heavy metals on top of back-breaking manual labor.