Sep 19, 2010

Pictures of the Day: Mozambique and Elsewhere

The pictures are off the immediate news but add graphically to our knowledge of Mozambique. Goran Tomasevic of Reuters has transmitted pictures of gold prospectors panning on rented land. In “The Gold Slaves of Mozambique” (March 24, 2008), Spiegel Online described the prospectors’ lot:

The soft, green hills surrounding the provincial capital Manica have been transformed into giant, squalid camps. Small settlements have sprung up along the Revue River, collections of huts made of plastic tarps, corrugated metal and bamboo. But many people simply sleep on the ground, wrapped in rags and covered with moth-eaten blankets. Their diet consists of roots, grass and insects.

During the day, they crawl across the loamy ground, digging with their bare hands. A few have spades and pickaxes. Many begin work at 4 in the morning. Some just lose their minds here, others lose their lives.