Under the burning African sun these men work about sixteen hours per day in order to extract the gold powder that is so difficult to find.
Tom, a former schoolteacher was forced to quit his job and work in the mines so that he could have enough income to feed his large family. Each morning when the sun rises he walks a few kilometers from his remote village in the region of Bugiri in the eastern Uganda, to the mine in the village of Nabwala. A group of more than thirty men divided in groups start each day by pumping out the underground waters from the mines. There is only one pump and each group waits for its turn. The procedure can take hours.
As if the groups of men were families, they all work on their own “hole”, meaning their own part in the mine.
A very careful and delicate work is done throughout the day where each small peace of soil is carefully inspected and put aside for further processing. After drying the soil under sun, bags are loaded into bicycles and transported to a workshop where a diesel engine powered molding machine would turn the soil into powder, making it easier for the washers to end up with this precious almost invisible treasure.
These procedures that require the hard work of many men from most of central African countries, are the only way to survive and provide basic life needs to their families. An average income for a gold miner in this precise mine was around 5 euros per month. Foolishly I brought them soda drinks and realized that it was as precious as something that their families might enjoy once a month… maybe.
This imbalance in today’s global society is the purest hypocrisy that mankind has ever been. Ones so called luxury of showing up, can be the other ones survival.









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