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Story Publication logo May 12, 2020

Congo-Brazzaville: Gold Exploitation and Sangha on the Brink of an Ecological Disaster (French)

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Image by Sergey Uryadnikov / Shutterstock. Democratic Republic of the Congo-Brazzaville, undated.
English

In Congo-Brazzaville's Sangha department, we are witnessing a gold rush spurred by Chinese companies...

Flooded forests and plumes of water polluted by mining activity in a village called Zoulabouth. Image by Marien Nzikou-Massala / @eraenvironnement. Republic of the Congo, 2020. 
Flooded forests and plumes of water polluted by mining activity in a village called Zoulabouth. Image by Marien Nzikou-Massala / @eraenvironnement. Republic of the Congo, 2020.

In the Republic of the Congo, the department called Sangha is located more than 800 kilometers north of the capital, Brazzaville. Over the past 10 years, it has become an "El Dorado" for Chinese mining companies. This gold rush is putting the enforcement of Congo-Brazzaville's mining code and community rights to the test, with consequences including diminishing forest cover and degraded water quality, and land-grabbing from traditional populations in surrounding villages.

"We don't have any streams left to get drinking water. These Chinese companies use mercury for gold mining and no measures are taken to protect the survival of the people in our villages. Communities are forced to walk five to six kilometers in the forest in order to find water to drink," says Michel Dogom, village chief in Zoulabouth, with a tone of desperation.

To read the full story in French, visit InfoCongo's website.

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