Niger, a Dark Paradise of Uranium

Collection with 15 media items created by Transterra Editor

05 Sep 2013 23:30

An unsteady bike headlight and a kid eager to escape from his mother’s arms can easily turn into a tragedy. Because when night shows up, only the headlights of the cars furtively light up the faces of Niamey’s inhabitants.

In the rural areas of Niger, where more than 83 percent of Nigeriens live and less than 2 percent of the inhabitants have access to electricity, people have to sleep at 8 p.m. because, by then, it is already dark and there is no electricity. With a blistering 48 degrees in summer and barely any electricity to turn on a fan, the people of Niger live in “darkness, warmth and insecurity,” says activist of Right of Energy organisation.

The national rate of access to electricity in Niger does not exceed 10 percent, while France lights up almost one third of its light bulbs from Uranium it extracted from Niger. Niger’s contract with Areva, which France owns 80 percent of, is expected to be renewed by the end of 2013 and currently, negotiations are underway.
The government is looking for Niger's best interest, rather than France's, as the Nigerien Minister of Mines says, “natural resources must serve our country’s interests.” This is particularly important, since the country has been ranked as the least developed country when it came to UNDP’s index of human development.

It was announced that a new mine pit will soon be open and, starting from 2015, 5000 tons of uranium will be extracted from it each year. This mine, however, was attributed to Areva in 2009, and so far, all subcontractors in the project have been foreign. Nevertheless, it has been stated that this mine will contribute to the development of Niger in the fields of health, eduction, transportation, water and access to energy. Civil society activists are skeptic of this project and have been taking measures such as organizing debates and forums and surveying the behavior of new investors, in order to ensure that they receive what they have been promised.

Photo Collec... Collection Article Photo Essay Uranium Niger Electricity

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Niger, dark paradise of uranium 1
Niamey, Niger
By Emmanuel Haddad
05 Sep 2013

An ice-cream seller below a white neon in Niamey. Without electricity, ice-cream is an utopia and his fridge is empty.

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Niger, dark paradise of uranium 2
Niamey, Niger
By Emmanuel Haddad
05 Sep 2013

Bike repairs under the white neon of one of the rare bookshops of the city-center of Niamey.

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Niger, dark paradise of uranium 3
Niamey, Niger
By Emmanuel Haddad
05 Sep 2013

After the night’s prayer, reading of Koran under the white neon of a shop, Niamey.

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Niger, dark paradise of uranium 5
Niamey, Niger
By Emmanuel Haddad
05 Sep 2013

From afar, itinerary sellers look like huge fireflies. When one comes closer, he can gradually make out the shape of their wheelbarrow carrying cigarettes, drugs imported from Nigeria, China and India… An entire bazaar illuminated by a torch made in China.

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Niger, dark paradise of uranium 6
Niamey, Niger
By Emmanuel Haddad
05 Sep 2013

Prayer, a major event that occurs in the dark in a society where more than 95 percent of the people are Muslims.

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Niger, dark paradise of uranium 7
Niamey, Niger
By Emmanuel Haddad
05 Sep 2013

A Nigerien makes his ablutions before the night’s prayer in a common courtyard of Niamey. His sun makes out his gestures in the darkness.

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Niger, dark paradise of uranium 8
Niamey, Niger
By Emmanuel Haddad
05 Sep 2013

A family sat down for a diner on a laterite road, shined by a torch made in China. Yantala, Niamey.

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Niger, dark paradise of uranium 9
Niamey, Niger
By Emmanuel Haddad
05 Sep 2013

Session hairdressing in the University of Niamey, under the light of a bulb suspended to the branch of an acacia.

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Niger, dark paradise of uranium 10
Niamey, Niger
By Emmanuel Haddad
05 Sep 2013

Furtive outline of a young veiled girl in the dark night of Niamey, only lighted on by the headlines of a car. Only 10% of Niger’s inhabitants have access to electricity.

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Niger, dark paradise of uranium 11
Niamey, Niger
By Emmanuel Haddad
05 Sep 2013

At sunset, the inhabitants of Niamey gather under the unusual light bulbs which break through obscurity.

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Niger, dark paradise of uranium 12
Niamey, Niger
By Emmanuel Haddad
05 Sep 2013

A shack that serves dinner is announced by a neon light above a row of cooking put full of rice and leaf sauce. Here, Malian migrants after the night meal, Niamey.

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Niger, dark paradise of uranium
Niamey, Niger
By Emmanuel Haddad
25 Aug 2013

Nigerien uranium lights up one-third of French bulbs, meanwhile only one-tenth of Nigerien have access to electricity. On September 20, the Sahelien State launched an audit of the uranium mines owned by French company Areva on his soil, so that the ore extraction finally benefits to Nigerien’s development. An initiative backed by its population. Thousands of citizens demonstrated the 12th of October to denounce the "radioactivity contimination" provoked by Areva and its lack of interest for local development. Report.

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Niger, dark paradise of uranium 13
Niamey, Niger
By Emmanuel Haddad
05 Sep 2013

In front of his shop where he sells cigarettes and tea, Ibrahim tells time with small swallow of sweet green tea.

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Niger, dark paradise of uranium
Niamey, Niger
By Emmanuel Haddad
04 Sep 2013

Biba would like to know what happened to her father, who died 40 days after her birth in 1986. He spent 10 years driving trucks in Somair, Areva's uranium mine of Arlit.

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Niger, dark paradise of uranium
Niamey, Niger
By Emmanuel Haddad
04 Sep 2013

Three former workers of Areva's uranium mine in Arlit. On the foreground, Mamane Sani, a quarry worker for twenty years, is today paralyzed down his left side.