Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Sand miners

Today I visited a beach near one of Equip's sites, where hundreds and hundreds of people are illegally removing sand to supply the Liberian construction industry. Each sack of sand is carried on the heads or shoulders of the miners - some sacks weigh as much as 100 kg (220 lbs) and are carried by muscular young ex-combatants, but other, much smaller sacks are carried by children, some as young as our Noah (7)...I can never get over how brutal life is here, that families have no alternative but to enslave their children to walk half a mile uphill carrying a back-breaking burden in order to earn a few dollars to buy food. These children are caked in sweat and sand and on the edge of collapse, and will suffer from back and neck complaints for the rest of their lives...Please pray for them. Olly

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