Poor Mining Villages Providing For The Wealthy | Gafsa, Tunisia

Old underground mine
Al-Mitlawi

 

Photojournalist and Documentary Photographer Zied Ben Romdhane is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography.  From his project ‘West of Life‘.  To see Zied’s stories click on any image.

 

Weekly explosion in the mine site
Al-Mitlawi

 

Al-Mitlaw

 

An asphalt worker during road building
Gafsa

 

Mine worker with a broken back
Al-Mitlaw

 

In Gafsa, a phosphate mining region in the southwest of Tunisia, a state-controlled company called CPG extracts phosphate from the hills.

Mining, an important resource to the Tunisian economy, has been practiced since Roman times. The phosphate mining now accounts for nearly 4 percent of the GDP.

The local mining villages of Redayef, Mettlaoui, Oumm Laarayes, are rich in resources but marginalized by the government. They remain poor and polluted, a conduit for wealth. Meanwhile, coastal towns prosper.

During the French occupation workers lured from Libya, Morocco, Algeria and around Tunisia live on this nearly uninhabitable land. Ethnic divisions, exacerbated by life in a harsh landscape, have produced disharmony between the people and nature.

These incompatible parts remain in a state of constant flux and volatility.

This is my testimony of the harshness of the place, balanced I hope by the humor of the inhabitants and my affection for them.

 

Cavalier
Mdhila

 

A grandmother watches her grandson trick ride
Mdhilla

 

Damaged walls caused by explosions in the phosphate field
Al-Mitlawi

 

Improvised tent for protesters demanding a job
Al-Mitlawi

 

 

See also:

Children Of The Moon

By Zied Ben Romdhane

 

 

 

 

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