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Burkina Faso 

Gold mine children of Burkina Faso

 

Thomas has visited Burkina Faso, in West-Africa three times in the past and some of his long term relations in the capital city Ouagadougou, have brought the very painful situation of children working in Gold Mines under Toe to Heart's attention.

With Toe to Heart we will see, through a pilot project how we can help a few children and what would be the best approach to help structurally. Currently a local team of two volunteers is making connections with the children and has sent us these moving  photos. Will be continued.

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About BUrkina faso

Burkina Faso, formerly known as Upper Volta, is a landlocked country located in West Africa.

Burkina Faso's name translates to "Land of Honest Men" in More, one of the country's major languages. 

The capital city of Burkina Faso is Ouagadougou, which is also the largest city in the country. Ouagadougou serves as the political, economic, and cultural center of Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso has a diverse population consisting of various ethnic groups.

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Burkina Faso has a predominantly agrarian economy, with agriculture employing a significant portion of the population. The country's main crops include cotton, sorghum, millet, maize, and rice. Gold mining has become increasingly important to the economy in recent years, with Burkina Faso becoming Africa's fourth-largest gold producer. However, the country faces challenges such as poverty, food insecurity, and a lack of infrastructure.

Goldmines & Child labour

Burkina Faso is one of the largest producers of gold in Africa, and gold mining plays a significant role in the country's economy. However, the gold mining industry in Burkina Faso, like in many other countries, has been associated with concerns about child labor, unsafe working conditions, and environmental degradation.

Child labor is a persistent issue in Burkina Faso's artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector. Children, often from impoverished families, are sometimes employed in hazardous mining activities, including digging pits, carrying heavy loads, and using toxic chemicals such as mercury to extract gold from ore. This form of child labor deprives children of their right to education and exposes them to serious health risks and injuries.

Artisanal and small-scale gold mining in Burkina Faso typically takes place in informal and unregulated settings, where miners often work under dangerous conditions with limited safety measures. Miners may be exposed to hazards such as collapsing mine shafts, toxic chemicals, and accidents involving heavy machinery. Moreover, there's often a lack of access to healthcare services for miners, exacerbating the risks associated with mining-related injuries and illnesses.

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Gold mining activities, especially in the artisanal and small-scale sector, can have adverse environmental impacts, including deforestation, soil erosion, water pollution, and mercury contamination. The use of mercury in gold extraction poses significant risks to both human health and the environment, as it can contaminate water sources and accumulate in the food chain, posing long-term health risks to communities living near mining sites.

 

Efforts to address these issues include initiatives aimed at improving the regulation and formalization of the artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector, enhancing child protection measures, promoting responsible mining practices, and providing support for alternative livelihoods for affected communities. International organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and government agencies are working together to address these challenges and promote sustainable and responsible gold mining practices in Burkina Faso.

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