At least 19 miners have been killed and several trapped between Thursday and Friday in a gold mine in Kahama, Tanzania, East Africa. The international media have reported that police fear that the death tolss is estimated to rise because many miners are still buried alive in the accident caused by a landslide. “We have retreived 19 bodies. Usually about a hundred miners go down everyday, “said the regional police chief.
The news was released Saturday by local authorities. The gold mining company involved in the landslide, which was caused by a collapse of the internal structures, is one of the most important in the economic region of Msalala, district known for the export of precious metals. Tanzania is the fourth largest producer of gold in Africa, and the precious metal is one of the main foreign currency revenue of the country.
The Tanzanian miners’ life-often children-has been denounced in a report byHuman Rights Watch “Toxic Toil: Child Labor and Mercury Exposure in Tanzania’s small-scale Gold Mines”. The report is based on the reality of 11 mining sites in Geita, Mwanza and Mbeya, and on interviews with more than 200 people, including 61 child-labourers. Child-labour in dangerous mining is one of the most frequent forms of exploitation. “On paper, Tanzania has strong laws prohibiting child labour on mining sites,” said Janine Morna of Human Rights Watch-but the government does too little to enforce them. ”
Translation provided by Marina Stronati