Sunday, 1 September 2013

Witness: A Boy's Mining Accident – Richard’s Story

Photo © 2013 Justin Purefoy for Human Rights Watch 

Richard, 11 years old at the time, was down in the gold mine pit when he heard his friends yelling for him to get out. Before he could react, he saw the landslide – caused by a collapsed wall – rushing toward him. The earth rammed into him and buried him up to his chest. Other miners hurried to dig Richard out, and he was taken to the nearest hospital where they diagnosed him with internal injuries. Even today, a year and a half later, the pain in his mid-section sometimes makes it hard for him to walk.
Richard’s story is familiar to people of rural southern Tanzania, where noisy, bustling towns seem to spring up in the middle of a sea of dried grass around small-scale mines, and where many people – including children – mine gold for a living. 
Read Richard’s story >>