Saturday 6 December 2014

Sierra Leone has a problem 'bigger' than Ebola - Yes, I have Mining on my mind and Burning Spear on my Playlist

African Minerals recently announced a total shutdown of its Mine - leaving thousands of its workers unemployed [click]
The government are silent.
No redundancy for workers, no pay out?

I came across this 'Open letter' to President Ernest Bai Koroma
I doubt anyone will read it.. why?
Why would they... if they can ignore it.. they will [clcik]
In truth, I hope it is read.. and its points are taken into consideration.

I hope that the Mining Industry becomes profitable for the people of Sierra Leone and not just the Multinational companies.
But it may be a false hope.

Here's the thing.
Despite everything, I hope the mine re-opens.. why? because the people need jobs.
The government should step in - right now, to protect the workers, but as yet.. we wait
I don't know.
That the people are now at the mercy of foreign investors makes me want to cry.
This is neo colonialism at its worse
That the government appears to be failing to take care of the workers is appalling
In truth.. I would say that what is taking place in Sierra Leone is a national and international scandal equal to the banking crisis that crippled many western economies.. damaging the lives and pockets of many ordinary folk.

The exploitation of Mining in Sierra Leone and treatment of workers needs a Global Spotlight

But the focus.. the Spotlight, is now on Ebola.
Or so they say.

How can an Iron Ore Mining Industry generate billions and billions for foreign investors whilst the country( which makes it possible ) remains one of the poorest in the world?

Sierra Leone could be heaven or hell.
It will be heaven - or hell.
Surely the current leaders would want to avoid another civil war at all costs!?

Instead of helping 'African Governance specialist' Tony Blair and his allies to become richer and richer....
Instead of shutting up dissenting voices
It's time for the government to ensure that so called 'investors' - up!.
The country must benefit. The people much benefit. Services and jobs must improve.

It's time the leaders woke up
People will only be pushed so far
Ebola is a symptom, but not a casue


  1. Fascinating post, Dawna. Heartbreaking as well. I'm pretty cynical about all this. People at the top with the money and power usually don't want to share their spoils. I read the letter, and it's the same sorry story that keeps happening over and over to indigenous people in a resource rich area when the exploiters move in. I'm thinking, too, of Northern Ontario where my family lived so long ago. There is a huge mining project getting underway pretty near where we used to live in isolation. The government promises to take the environmental impact and Aboriginal rights into full consideration as the resource (chromite) is developed. Yeah, right ~ we'll see how that plays out! The tiny village I lived in has a crisis in suicide right now, and the crisis extends to other communities in the North ~ young people with a grim future, stripped of their traditional lifestyle with nothing to replace it. That said, it's good to see people speaking out (like in the letter). People can only be pushed so far, and I hope more and more begin pushing. All people have value as human beings not just bankers, Wall Street types, CEOs and entrepreneurs!
    Again, thank you for sharing! Good song too!

  2. Greed greed greed Fundy
    You're right in that this form of exploitation is being replicated like the McDonalds franchise.
    Writing this post upset me. Got me emotional.. felt personal.. Is personal.
    No individual should be driven to suicide.. prostitution or any other bullshit that poverty often forces people to the brink of.
    Especially when it doesn't have to be that way.
    Shame on any multinational that rapes and plunders without conscience.. and shame on those who allow it to happen.