Madagascar - Mr. Rakotoarimanana settled in Moramanga with his wife and seven children in 1957. He is the senior member of the community and also the Fokontany village chief. He is very upset by the fact that mining activities have covered his family’s rice paddies and fields with sand.
Madagascar - Before the mine was opened, the community produced tons of rice and grew corn, beans, watercress, bananas, as well as many other fruits and vegetables. However, the arrival of the mining operation less than 10 km from their village has completely disrupted their daily lives. Community members feel that they are getting poorer every day.
Madagascar - The winding road with its steep downward slope crosses the village of Ambohibary. It was built by the mine despite opposition from the community. The road is not suited to the local way of life, in which people travel by bicycle or by walking barefoot. When it rains, the road becomes extremely slippery, and it is very difficult for cattle breeders to herd their livestock.
Madagascar - Jean-de-Dieu is the son of the village chief. He is a very well-known and respected member of the community because he is not afraid to denounce the abuses caused by the mine and the marginalization suffered by his community.
Madagascar - Olivier Rakotomihanta’s rice paddy was affected by the mining company’s construction of a 220km-long pipeline. Thanks to advocacy activities spearheaded by the Taratra project, he received financial compensation, and his rice field has been rehabilitated. However, Olivier remains concerned, for soon after restoring his rice field, the mine built a new aquaduct near his land. He’s afraid that his land will be flooded again.
Madagascar - The wife of the village chief is concerned about the future of her children and grandchildren. “They told us that the opening of the mine would bring new opportunities. But the young people are still unemployed, and the situation of our community has not improved. I’m worried about my children’s and my grandchildren’s future.”
Complaint boxes have been installed by members of the Taratra network, a project supported by Development and Peace that advocates for good governance of mining activities in Madagascar. Community members leave their anonymous complaints in the boxes, which are then collected by the Taratra project team and passed on to the bishop, who is the keeper of the key to the locked boxes, and the only person authorized to open them.
Madagascar has become home to one of the largest mining projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the largest in the country’s history. A Canadian mining company built a nickel and cobalt processing plant in Taomasina, the nation’s main port city. The plant is located near a village.
The residents of Quicha Grande in Peru agreed to let a mining company conduct exploratory operations on their land. This created a conflict with neighbouring communities, which oppose the project. Quicha Grande residents want development for their region but the open-pit mine could have major consequences on their means of subsistence, such as agriculture and livestock production.
Arturo Castro lives in the Peruvian village of Cruz Pampa, which will be moved due to the development of an open-pit phosphate mine. He wishes that the Peruvian government would better defend their rights and that mining companies would come and consult them directly. “We would like development for the two countries, as much for Canada as for Peru.”
The city of La Oroya in Peru is one of the most polluted places in the world. A mine that has been in operation since 1922 has had major consequences on local inhabitants; there are disturbing levels of lead, arsenic and calcium in their bloodstreams and they live among mountains turned white from pollution and devoid of vegetation.
Teodora Oriliana is worried about the consequences of mining operations on her community’s land, water and livelihood. She does not want to see the river that irrigates her fields become contaminated, which is what happened to the Mantaro River in the Huancayo region of Peru by mines located upstream in Cerro de Pasco and La Oroya.
In the Caraz region of Peru’s Cordillera Blanca mountain range, the community is fighting so that their land will not be used for mining. The mining concession even encroaches on Huascaran National Park. Residents planted a cross on the mountain to let mining companies know that this land belongs to them.
Adán Pajuelo, a community leader from the Caraz region of Peru, is opposed to the arrival of a mining company since it plans to set up at the source of a river. The mine could not only contaminate the river but also all the plots of farmland downstream from it, because the river’s water is used to irrigate their fields. He wishes that mining companies would operate in areas where local populations do not make their living from agriculture.
Carlos Umberto, who lives in the El Corpus region of Honduras, does not want any open-pit mining in his region. “The mine represents wealth in the short term. Bread today, hunger tomorrow. What will the future generation live on?” He believes that the environmental consequences of mining operations may very well cause the greatest poverty that the country has ever known.
In the Siria Valley of Honduras, women and children bathe and do their laundry in the river water, downstream from a mine that ceased operations a few years ago. Many health problems have been identified in the region, but the Honduran government has not conducted a thorough investigation into what is causing the problems.
Philippines - The village of Maribong on the island of Palawan is located in the shadow of an open-pit nickel mine. The community has not received any compensation from the mining company and continues to live in extreme poverty without water or electricity. The mine has contaminated the river which is their main water source, further impoverishing the community.
Philippines - People from the community of Maribong on the island of Palawan try to eke out a living by panning for gold in a local river that has been contaminated by a nearby mine. People, including children, spend hours wading in the water to find a few flecks of gold that can be sold in town.
Timuay Liberato Balawen is a tribal leader of the indigenous Subanen people of the Philippines. He must decide whether to give consent for an open-pit gold mine on Subanen ancestral land. “We inherited our home from our ancestors and so we give care. If it is destroyed, we have no other home to inhabit. It’s where our ancestors’ spirits live. It is holy and sacred and we don’t want to leave that sacred place.”
This open-pit mine in the Philippines slices right through Mount Canatuan, a sacred mountain of the indigenous Subanen people. The tribal leader of the community resisted the mining project for 15 years, but to no avail. The project still proceeded and today the area being mined is no longer accessible to the local people.
The community of Balabog in the Philippines must decide if it will give consent to a Canadian mining company to exploit an open-pit gold mine on its land. This is the wife of a local tribal leader who has lived on this land her whole life. She has made her living selling medicinal herbs and treatments from the surrounding sacred forests, which will be destroyed if the mining project proceeds.
These children live close to an open-pit mine in Canatuan, the Philippines. The community has received some benefits from the mine, including paved roads, a clinic and a school. However, the mine will soon be closing, leaving the community insecure as to what will happen to these services they have grown to depend on.
This nickel mine is located on the island of Palawan, renowned for its biodiversity and natural wonders, in the Philippines. The orange pools are dams that collect the mine waste. They lie in close proximity to a river that is a water source for a nearby community.
Eliza Hernandez’s blood was contaminated when the dam of an open-pit copper mine on the island of Marinduque collapsed and sent toxic waste into the river where Eliza was washing clothes. The dam collapse was one of the worst environmental disasters in the history of the Philippines.