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Benas Gerdziunas - Ukraine - The Last...
Donetsk and Luhansk, Ukraine
By Benas Gerdziunas
25 Sep 2016

One of the many abandoned buildings, which remain inaccessible due to the threat of unexploded ordnance and leftover mines.

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Benas Gerdziunas - Ukraine - The Last...
Donetsk and Luhansk, Ukraine
By Benas Gerdziunas
25 Sep 2016

Kostya Zarubin sits inside his grandparents’ home, where he grew up - two floors below his best friend’s Edik’s home. The boys were 15 years-old when they climbed a slag heap to “look at the war,” oblivious to the danger.

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Benas Gerdziunas - Ukraine - The Last...
Donetsk and Luhansk, Ukraine
By Benas Gerdziunas
25 Sep 2016

Slag heaps - residue of mine shaft excavations, pile high near Lysychansk, Luhansk region. Popular with local kids, these heaps served as observation posts for artillery spotters and military personnel during the war.

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Benas Gerdziunas - Ukraine - The Last...
Donetsk and Luhansk, Ukraine
By Benas Gerdziunas
24 Sep 2016

Pavel Albulov shows the deep scar in the center of his forehead, left behind after a booby-trap went off after opening the door to a house. He went inside to feed the animals left behind by the fleeing neighbours.

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Benas Gerdziunas - Ukraine - The Last...
Donetsk and Luhansk, Ukraine
By Benas Gerdziunas
24 Sep 2016

Billboard in Slavyansk, Donetsk Region, warns of dangers posed by mines and unexploded ordnance. Similar posters can be found onboard trains - both of which have only appeared recently.

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Benas Gerdziunas - Ukraine - The Last...
Donetsk and Luhansk, Ukraine
By Benas Gerdziunas
24 Sep 2016

Children walk from school near the village of Troitske, Luhansk Region. The village has been at the forefront of trenchline fighting for the past year, and have subsequently seen heavy artillery damage and continuing threat of unexploded ordnance, mines and booby-traps.

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Benas Gerdziunas - Ukraine - The Last...
Donetsk and Luhansk, Ukraine
By Benas Gerdziunas
24 Sep 2016

Pavel’s wife stands defiantly in front of her home. “We have food, electricity, We don’t need anything, I can’t even eat properly. We just want peace.

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Benas Gerdziunas - Ukraine - The Last...
Donetsk and Luhansk, Ukraine
By Benas Gerdziunas
24 Sep 2016

‘Mines’ etched into the front gate. The owner was injured when returning home by a booby-trap left behind by the soldiers.

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Benas Gerdziunas - Ukraine - The Last...
Donetsk and Luhansk, Ukraine
By Benas Gerdziunas
24 Sep 2016

“I pushed my bike first through the gate, that’s when the booby-trap went off,” he explains. “I walked home one and half kilometer, with blood pouring down. My wife gave a glass of samagon [homemade spirit], and I walked further to get medical help.”

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Peshmerga Units Clear Explosives Laid...
Kirkuk, Makhmour
By Osie Greenway
13 Feb 2015

According to Kurdish government and Peshmerga officials, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and mines planted by Islamic State militants are the biggest cause of death for Peshmerga forces. ISIS has adopted the tactic of heavily seeding all of the territory it withdraws from with the devices with the intent of slowing down Peshmerga advances. Some IEDs are also intentionally left in fields and homes to target civilians according to Kurdish officials. These images are from frontlines with a Kurdish military engineer team specialized in explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), and a farmer who is affected by IEDs after returning home after weeks of heavy fighting in Makhmour. These images follow with an article that includes demining NGO MAG who weighs in on the issue and has been clearing mines in Iraq for 30 years, as does the mayor of the Kurdish city of Makhmour, whose community is still dealing with getting rid of massive amounts of IEDs ISIS left behind to cover their retreat. 

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Peshmerga IED Disposal Units at War w...
Kirkuk
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
05 Feb 2015

According to Kurdish government and Peshmerga officials, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and mines planted by Islamic State militants are the biggest cause of death for Peshmerga forces. ISIS has adopted the tactic of heavily seeding all of the territory it withdraws from with the devices with the intent of slowing down Peshmerga advances. Some IEDs are also intentionally left in fields and homes to target civilians according to Kurdish officials. We go to the frontlines with a Kurdish military engineer team specialized in dismantling the devices, and speak to a farmer who is affected by IEDs. Mining NGO MAG also weighs in on the issue, as does the mayor of the Kurdish city of Makhmour, whose community is still dealing with getting rid of massive amounts of IEDs ISIS left in August.

Story can be extended with interviews of experts on mine dismantling and victims of the explosive devices.

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A Village Divided Between Lebanon and...
Dhaira
By wissam fanash
03 Jan 2015

Various elder residents of a Lebanese village on the border with Israel tell the story of how their village and families came to be divided by the creation of Israel in 1948. Part of the Aramsha clan, their lands included four of five villages that lay on both side of the future Lebanese-Israeli border prior to 1948. Today, they live in constant surveillance (a drone can be seen in the video) and are separated from their kin living in Israel by tank patrols, barbed wire and land mines. One resident speaks of how she lost her leg to a land mine laid by Israelis when attempting to attend her father's funeral on the other side of the border. Since she can no longer obtain a permit to visit her relatives, it has been 20 years since she last saw her family.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Various of Fakhri Fanash with grandchildren walking in garden
Various of Israeli armored vehicles driving along Israeli-Lebanese border

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Fakhri Fanash, Dignitary of Aramsha Clan
01:26 – 04:49

“We are part of the Aramsha clan, which live in about four or five villages. This is Dhaira; over there are the villages of Idmith, Iribbin and Jordeh. We are all cousins, brothers and relatives. The lands that can be seen within the occupied territories are ours. I can name them: over there is Safra, Bater, Jordeh, Jrad Moussa; this Khallet al-Adas or Khallet al-Saheb. All of these lands were ours. We were part of one tribe. The Israeli invasion, or colonialism, divided this land. Some people are here in Dhaira – about one quarter [of the clan] and three quarters stayed there. There were four brothers, two of whom stayed there and two came here.

After 1948, they [Israelis] started annexing lands and [planting] mines and barbed wires. They set up the land the way they wanted. They took this part of the land.
In the Lebanese part of these territories, which is still with us, there are landmines over there where these olive trees are planted.

Behind Jordeh there is a cemetery, called the Aramsha Cemetery. This was both ours and theirs. You see, when my grandfather died, people were crying. There was a Lebanese Army patrol to keep people apart. All of our relatives from Palestine came to the cemetery, but we were about two meters away from each other. When the Army saw that people were crying and concerned for each other, it allowed people from both sides to come together. There were no barbed wires or landmines in that spot. All people came together, and the funeral became like a wedding because people were able to reunite.

Look at that patrol [DRONE CAN BE SEEN IN THE SKY]. It goes on day and night. There are also armored vehicles and tanks. We have property deeds form the Ottoman era that prove [our ownership over] the land that you can see in front of you, which is vast. We have documents written by the notary of Acre. During peace negotiations between Lebanon and the Israeli enemy, the ministry of foreign affairs asked us to present these papers, which we did. Afterwards, things went bad among Arab countries and we did not get anything from this.”

Wide of Israeli patrol
Wide/ zoom out of Fakhri Fanash’s grandchildren watch Israeli armored vehicle on other side of the border.
Various of Khairiya al-Moghais walking

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Khairiya al-Moghais, Aramsha Clan Member

05: 14 – 09:05

“This is my sister [SHOWING PHOTOS]. These are my brother and his wife. This is also my brother and his wife. And this is my daughter.

It has been about 20 years. I used to visit them before, using a permit. Now I cannot go anywhere. I have not seen her for 20 years. This is also my brother. This is my daughter and this is my other daughter. When I see [their photo] I cry. I wish I could meet them.

I left my parents and ran away to Lebanon when I met my husband. I stayed at my sister’s, and then they took me to Beirut. I was sentenced to one month [in prison].

I have not seen my parents for 40 years.

Interviewer: Are you not communicating with them?
- No Interviewer: You do not know what is happening to them either?
- No, no. They forbid them… we used to shout to each other, but since the liberation we have not dared to talk to them. They do not dare to talk with us either.
Interviewer: Who is preventing you from doing that?
- We are scared. We are scared here. We do not dare. And over there, [Israeli] patrols guard the barbed wire.

I once heard an announcement over the loud speaker coming from the village of Jordeh. I thought my father died. I stepped on a wire. I was not thinking of the wire, I was only thinking of my father. I heard a sound and I thought I had stepped on a metal can. I did not realize it was a landmine. I walked a bit further and the landmine went off. I fell on the ground. I saw that my leg was cut off. I started to scream and people came in a hurry from Dhaira and from the other side, but people could not talk to each other.

I was lying in the middle; Israel was on this side and Lebanon on the other. Then they carried me away.

I stayed on the floor. I then extended my hand to a soldier from a patrol because I was in a lot of pain. I wanted him to lift me. He waved his hand as if to say “no.” They removed the landmines then took me in an ambulance.

I wish I could see my family and daughters before I… Then, I would not care if I died… All my relatives and family… we were all living together happily. Nobody did anything to us. This is our life.”

Wide of Israeli military post
Wide/ traveling of Israeli Humvee driving on other side of border
Wide of United Nation border demarcation barrel
Wide of territory across barbed wires
Various of landmine warning signs
Close up of flour/ demarcation barrel in background
Wide of car moving on other side of the Israeli border
Wide of Israeli military post
Various of landmine warning signs and border fence
Traveling of Jordeh, a village inhabited by Aramsha clan and held by Israel
Various of Israeli military transmission tower
Traveling of United Nations helicopter
Traveling of village Mazraat al-Aramsha, a village inhabited by Aramsha clan and controlled by Israel
Wide of woman walking by border fence on the Israeli side
Various of trees
Wide of houses on Israeli side of the border
Wide of children and cattle on Israeli side of border
Wide of landmine warning sign
Various of children on side of border

NAT Sound (Arabic) conversation across the border
-We are from Palestine. - What is your name? -Mohammad. - Mohammad what? -[UNINTELLIGIBLE] -Mohammad what? -Mohammad Jomaa. We are Arabs, not Jews. - Who are you? -Ahmad -Omar, Ali, Ahmad, Hammoudi, Lyn”

Children on Lebanese side waving the Palestinian flag.
Wide of Israeli Humvee driving by

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In Search of Poland's Black Gold
Walbrzych, Poland
By Michael Biach
29 Dec 2014

(FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST)

For centuries coal mining has been the most important industry in Walbrzych, Poland. However, in the 1980s many of the coal mines became unprofitable. With Poland's transformation from a state-directed to a free-market economy in the 1990s, nearly all of the coal mines in Lower Silesia were shut down. Thousands of people became jobless.

The area still has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country despite new industry settling in the area. It didn't take very long until the jobless miners in the area started to dig for coal on their own. The business is dangerous and illegal. Tunnels leading as deep as ten or fifteen meters below the ground are only protected by wood and sandbags. Inside, people dig for coal the same way they did centuries ago, by hand.

Police regularly arrest illegal coal miners and confiscate their equipment, so most people dig by night to avoid police control. Not only the well-educated former miners search for 'black gold,' but also young and unexperienced jobless men risk their freedom and their lives to make a couple of Euros a night by selling illegal coal to residents.

Every year several people die after tunnels collapse. Roman Janiszek is a former coal miner, now an illegal miner who has founded a committee that is trying to make the activities legal and also to keep track of the situation in the outskirts of Walbrzych. Roman also points to the fact that people not only lost their jobs and privileges but also their social position with the closing of the mines. Once prideful coal miners, people like Roman Janiszek now work illegally every night to make a living.

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War Relics Continue to Plague Vietnam
Quang Tri, Vietnam
By Sean Kimmons
02 Jun 2014

QUANG TRI PROVINCE, Vietnam – A demining team carefully removes a pile of rusty explosives – each one still able to kill or maim – from a quiet farm field where fierce fighting once raged during the Vietnam War.

Shortly after the lethal mortars and grenade launcher rounds were taken away, an anxious farmer in her 50s marched over to the de-mining team and expressed her frustration to everyone around.

“I’m afraid of more bombs but I need to work,” she said. “I have to risk death just to earn money.”

The farmer, Van Thi Nga, stumbled across the relics while growing vegetables, the main source of income in her village. Her village sits along the war’s former demarcation zone and is strewn with hidden explosives.

However, there was no time for sympathy as the busy team frankly told her to report other unexploded ordinance (UXO) if she sees more. The bomb disposal experts then did a brief sweep with a metal detector and left to their next call of duty: an unstable bomb in a nearby rice paddy.

De-mining teams in Vietnam face an epic task where roughly 20 percent of the country is littered with UXO. UXO includes everything from bombs, landmines, munitions, and other explosives.

This central Vietnamese province is the worst-hit region, with more than 80 percent of the land still peppered with deadly devices after nearly 350,000 tons of explosives were used.

In total, almost four times more firepower was deployed on Vietnam during the Vietnam War than in all of World War II.

Around 10 percent of the explosives used in the Vietnam War are believed to not have detonated. As a result, up to 800,000 tons of UXO remain in the communist state. That’s even beyond the 635,000 tons of bombs that US forces dropped in the entire Korean War.

“The contamination in Vietnam is huge,” said Portia Stratton, country director of Mine Advisory Group, the largest non-profit de-mining group in Vietnam. “We’re still finding the same number of UXO that we were finding [when we started here] 15 years ago.”

‘Lagging behind’

Introduced in 2010, Vietnam’s mine action strategy came years after other UXO-infested nations including its neighbors, Laos and Cambodia. which were also heavily bombed to jam communist supply routes in the war.

“Vietnam is lagging behind a lot of other countries that have significant levels of contamination,” Stratton said. “We still don’t have a full picture of what our efforts have achieved.”

Since the end of the war in 1975, war remnants have killed more than 42,000 Vietnamese and injured at least 62,000 others, according to preliminary statistics by the government.

But with no national database in place, UXO incidents and demining operations cannot be accurately tracked while affected remote areas go unnoticed, advocates say.

In March, the Vietnam National Mine Action Center was launched to provide more oversight in the secretive state, which already had similar mine action bodies at the national level.

Stratton warns that the new center may serve as another bureaucratic layer and further delay mine action services that often take up to one year to get government approval.

Middle-income blues

Despite its fondness for red tape, Vietnam has revived itself as one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia after devastating warfare with US forces.

In 2009, the country gained lower middle-income status but the distinction has created a sort of Catch-22 paradox as foreign donors redirect funds elsewhere.

“There’s more of a challenge now to enable us to secure funding,” said Rickard Hartmann, country director for APOPO, a Belgium-based demining group. “We are very happy that Vietnam is developing but at the same time more and more donors are reducing their support.”

The 50-member APOPO group began operations in January after the German non-profit Solidarity Service International pulled out its 160 personnel from the area, leaving a two-thirds reduction in skilled labor, he said.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung recently called on the global community to boost support saying that “since the explosive contamination is so great, Vietnam truly needs assistance and support.”

Vietnamese officials claim that $10 billion is required to completely rid existing UXO – a feat that would take up to 300 years for the country to do on its own, they say.

Around 35,000 hectares of unsafe land is cleared annually but the state has ambitious plans to nearly triple that target to 100,000 hectares if external aid is increased.

Yet the government spends about $80 million on mine action, or less than 0.20 percent of its national budget.

Deputy Minister of Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment Nguyen The Phuong admitted that the meager funds “could not meet the actual needs of mine action activities.”

He also cited poor coordination between state and provincial entities, lack of human resources, and technology and equipment shortages as other factors hindering progress.

A 2012 assessment on Vietnam’s mine action program, conducted by the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Deming, revealed that the government and state-connected private investors bankrolled 92 percent of activities from 2007 to 2011.

The government currently expects foreign donors to cover about half of the estimated $368 million required for mine action from 2013 to 2015, according to a 2013 update on the national strategy.

But foreign donors only doled out $8.7 million for mine action in 2012, with the US contributing more than 40 percent of the total, the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor reported.

Vietnam may be entitled to more foreign aid if they signed the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions that prohibits their use.

Even so, landmines are seen as legitimate weapons for border security. Officials also reject the cluster bomb pact since the 10-year deadline for member states to finish land clearance is unrealistic to them, they said.

Ironically, cluster bombs would likely delay the country due to how they were dispersed in the war. Hundreds of cluster bombs – each about the size of a tennis ball – were packed inside large airdropped canisters that scattered the bomblets over wide swathes of the countryside.

Although designed to explode on impact, many of them did not.

Enlisting local help

To deal with the funding shortfalls, bomb experts rely on villagers to be their eyes and ears for war remnants.

“To clean up every bomb and mine in Vietnam is impossible,” said Hien Ngo, spokesperson for Project Renew, a demining group that also empowers locals. “It’s a daunting task that will never likely be achieved, so we want to make sure that the land is safe by educating people about the risks.”

Ngo has already seen the value of his group’s education programs that are taught in schools and to those who come to their mine action visitor center in the province’s largest city.

He recalled when a 12-year-old boy halted a crew driving to another call and led them to a cache of 180 explosives concealed in the dense jungle.

“The boy learned what to do after he visited the center,” he said. “Now people are helping us report explosives.”

Nguyen Xuan Tuan, 29, wished he knew the dangers of war relics before he scavenged for scrap metal at a deserted US military base back in 2002.

After his friend found something on a metal detector, Tuan sliced the ground with his shovel. But as he dug deeper, he struck a cluster bomb.

The blast severed his right hand, cut deep scars across his body and knocked him into a three-day coma.

“I woke up seeing my parents crying and I realized that I was in a miserable situation,” he said. “The only thing I could do was cry and think that this was the end of my life.”

Tuan, one of the nation’s five Ban Advocates that campaign against cluster bombs worldwide, is now using his experience to educate others throughout the province.

“I’ve been very lucky to be exposed to the outside world,” he said. “In rural areas, many voices are not being heard and people do not receive the assistance they need.”

By the end of 2015, Vietnam aims to develop a national database and expand risk education to the most dangerous areas.

The US also continues to be the top donor for mine action activities in Vietnam, giving over $62 million so far, officials say.

But 50 years after the US military drastically built up its presence to counter evasive communist fighters, Ngo said that both sides have failed to tackle the aftermath and must “step up” their efforts.

“Although we see positive developments to make the war’s legacy finally history, bombs and mines are still killing and injuring people,” he said.

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Crimean Battle Lines
By George Henton
11 Mar 2014

In the Kherson region, just to the north of the Crimea and where Russian forces have their northern most front line in Ukraine, the small town of Chonhar sits quietly in the middle.

Separated by 20KM, both the Russians and Ukrainians lines are strengthening and digging in, with heavily armed soldiers and armored vehicles in defensive positions.

In Chonhar, residents are increasingly concerned that the fragile peace could be shattered if ‘provocations’ feared by both sides results in fighting.

Angry at the Russian presence on some of their agricultural land, including the apparent use of mines to protect the Russian lines, a small group of residents from Chonhar and the wider Kherson region walked towards the Russian lines.

At the checkpoint, pro Russian gunmen, wearing the uniform of the officially disbanded Berkut, cocked automatic guns and pointed them at the unarmed group of men, women and children before firing a handgun at the ground in front of them to make them disperse.

An hour later, a group of men claiming to be veteran of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, approached the Russian lines in cars waving the Ukrainian flag resulting in further warning shots as the group massed in front of the guards before turning away.

Both sides say they have no wish for a war, and if the two sides stay where they are, fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces are unlikely, but things remain tense and any incident that leads to fatalities will only heighten the tensions further as Russia continues to tighten it’s grip on Crimea.

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Sulfur Mines at Kawah Ijen Indonesia
Kawah Ijen, Indonesia
By Transterra Editor
04 Oct 2013

In the remote East Java, Indonesia lies the ominous Kawah Ijen volcano, topped with an immense crater and a 200-meter-deep lake of sulfuric acid. It is within this precarious work environment where miners spend their days, hacking chunks of cooled sulfur with steel bars and ferrying up and down the mountain twin basket loads that weigh between 130 and 220 pounds. As they break up sulfur, they are perpetually engulfed in a cloud of smoke. Respiratory issues are rife among the workers because of this, who brave their surroundings with minimal to no protection. There is little pay-off for this sacrifice, as the daily earnings range from a mere $8 - $12. Gloves and gas masks are an unaffordable luxury.

An active vent at the edge of the lake is a source of elemental sulphur, and is what supports the mining operation. Escaping volcanic gases are channelled through a network of ceramic pipes, which causes the condensation of molten sulfur. The sulfur, which is deep red in colour when molten, pours slowly from the ends of these pipes and pools on the ground, turning bright yellow as it cools. It is this sulfur that keeps the miners returning every day despite the danger posed to their health, desperate to make a living.

Photos By: Jeffrey Bright

Click on the link below to view more photos:
http://www.transterramedia.com/collections/1452

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 18
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
24 Jan 2013

Cerro Lunar: Vanesa Canesa is photographed with her daughter Ana Paula in front of their little house, made with stones and "calamina" (metal layer), in Cerro Lunar, Ananea, Peru. Vanesa is a miner's wife and she used to support her husband working on "Pallaqueo" (collecting stones thrown from the mines looking for gold) and now she quit due to health reasons.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 20
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
23 Jan 2013

Left to right, Lucy Callpacruz and Norma Quispe (with her two children Eduardo Cristian and Chantal Ochoqui), both miner's wives, are pictured in their little house made with "calamina" (metal layer) in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru. Lucy has nine children and she is from Putina. From time to time, Lucy and Norma support their husbands working as "Pallaqueos" (selecting stones from the mine dumps looking for gold).

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 24
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
21 Jan 2013

A child is dressed by her mother after being assisted by a doctor at the health center in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru. Most of the children in La Rinconada suffer malnutrition and problems of growth due to cold weather and pollution.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 3
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
20 Jan 2013

A "Pallaquera" (a woman who selects stones from the mine dumps looking for gold) is pictured at work in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 8
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
20 Jan 2013

A "Pallaquera" (a woman who selects stones from the mine dumps looking for gold) is pictured at work in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 4
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
20 Jan 2013

A "Pallaquera" (a woman who selects stones from the mine dumps) prepares a shot of an alcoholic drink during a break in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 2
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
17 Jan 2013

La Rinconada: "Pallaqueras" (women who select stones from the mine dumps) go to work in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 1
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
17 Jan 2013

A "Pallaquera" (a woman who selects stones from the mine dumps looking for gold) takes a rest outside her shelter in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 7
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
17 Jan 2013

A "Pallaquera" (a woman who selects stones from the mine dumps looking for gold) inspects some stones in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.

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La Rinconada, into the gold's bubble 26
La RInconada, Peru
By Albert Gonzalez Farran
17 Jan 2013

A "Pallaquera" (a woman who selects stones from the mine dumps) takes her selection back home at the end of the workday in La Rinconada, Ananea, Peru.

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THE CAMBODIA TRUST PROSTHETICS AND OR...
Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia
By George Nickels
05 Nov 2012

A severe problem that Cambodia faces is the magnitude of landmines littered over virtually every provence throughout the country. more than 40% of the villages in Cambodia have a mine problem.
This is the legacy of three decades of savage war leaving 40,000+ amputees through out the country. Recent estimates show that there may be as many as four to six million mines and unexploded devices left undetected in Cambodia although some estimates run as high as ten million. Last year The Cambodia Trust clinics in Cambodia fitted over 600 limbs ensuring that individuals are empowered to impact their communities and provide for their families. Across the developing world, there are millions of people with disabilities who need physical rehabilitation services to enable them to go to school, find work and participate in society. However in many low income countries there is a severe shortage of local staff with the skills and experience to provide the rehabilitation services needed by persons with disabilities.
In the warfare that raged in Cambodia from 1970 until 1998, all sides used land mines.
Most were manufactured in China, Russia, or Vietnam and the United States. Pol Pot, whose regime was responsible for the deaths of some 1.7 million Cambodians between 1975 and 1979, purportedly called land mines his “perfect soldiers.”

Major minefields have been mapped and are being systematically demined. Although estimates show that it may take between 10 and 20 years to eradicate the threat and with serious amounts of money involved to do so.

Cambodia reported 96 landmine casualties in the first five months of 2012, according to a report of the Cambodian Mine and Explosive Remnants of War Victim Information System, and they quoted sadly young children account for about half of all landmine victims.

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Editor's Picks 17 September 2012
Middle East
By Editor's Picks
16 Sep 2012

Nasrallah appears in public to encourage protests against the controversial film insulting Islam that sparked protests throughout Muslim communities worldwide.

New UN Arab League Envoy returns from Syria and meets with the Arab League Chief in Cairo.

Busses and rails provided only the minimal services as employees went on strike in protest against wage cuts and budget reforms.

Lake Katwe salt mine is a source of livelihood to over three thousand people who earn about five dollars a day, laboring in the hyper-saline environment that leaches moisture from their bodies, exposing them to toxic chemicals and creating severe health complications.

Footage from in front of the US Embassay in Yemen where protesters rallied against the film by burning flags, breaking windows and setting fire in the embassy, until security forces pushed them back with gunfire and water trucks.

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Uganda: Slaves of their own survival ...
Katwe,Village,Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
17 Aug 2012

Lake Katwe - Uganda - 2012-08-17- Formed about ten thousand years ago from a volcanic eruption, Lake Katwe lies in Queen Elisabeth National Park, in Kasese district, western Uganda, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo through Lake Edward.

Lake Katwe salt mine is a source of livelihood to over three thousand people in the area and in good times hundreds of salt miners at Lake Katwe can make a reasonable living, even if in self-slavery. Due to the hyper saline water that sucks moisture from their bodies and infuses them with toxic chemicals, there are severe health complications. The smell of hydrogen sulphide is all over the place.

For the women, when the female reproductive organs get in contact with this salty water, more often they develop uterine complications. The men on the other hand are also affected. When the male organs come into contact with this salty water they itch, and excessive scratching can cause wounds.

Surviving for a meager five dollars a day is a poor income. Coarse salt is still mined the way it was done over centuries years ago. Men, women and children all work at the mines for their own survival, including a large number of refugees from the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo. Workers extract three main products from Lake Katwe: blocks of rock salt used in curing hides; high quality salt crystals that can be sold as table salt; and salty mud that is used as salt licks for cattle.

Theses pictures show salt miners working on a salt pans pile on the shores of Lake Katwe.

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Uganda: Slaves of their own survival ...
Katwe,Village,Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
17 Aug 2012

Lake Katwe - Uganda - 2012-08-17- Formed about ten thousand years ago from a volcanic eruption, Lake Katwe lies in Queen Elisabeth National Park, in Kasese district, western Uganda, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo through Lake Edward.

Lake Katwe salt mine is a source of livelihood to over three thousand people in the area and in good times hundreds of salt miners at Lake Katwe can make a reasonable living, even if in self-slavery. Due to the hyper saline water that sucks moisture from their bodies and infuses them with toxic chemicals, there are severe health complications. The smell of hydrogen sulphide is all over the place.

For the women, when the female reproductive organs get in contact with this salty water, more often they develop uterine complications. The men on the other hand are also affected. When the male organs come into contact with this salty water they itch, and excessive scratching can cause wounds.

Surviving for a meager five dollars a day is a poor income. Coarse salt is still mined the way it was done over centuries years ago. Men, women and children all work at the mines for their own survival, including a large number of refugees from the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo. Workers extract three main products from Lake Katwe: blocks of rock salt used in curing hides; high quality salt crystals that can be sold as table salt; and salty mud that is used as salt licks for cattle.

Theses pictures show salt miners working on a salt pans pile on the shores of Lake Katwe.

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Uganda: Slaves of their own survival ...
Katwe Vllage Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
17 Aug 2012

Lake Katwe - Uganda - 2012-08-17- Formed about ten thousand years ago from a volcanic eruption, Lake Katwe lies in Queen Elisabeth National Park, in Kasese district, western Uganda, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo through Lake Edward.

Lake Katwe salt mine is a source of livelihood to over three thousand people in the area and in good times hundreds of salt miners at Lake Katwe can make a reasonable living, even if in self-slavery. Due to the hyper saline water that sucks moisture from their bodies and infuses them with toxic chemicals, there are severe health complications. The smell of hydrogen sulphide is all over the place.

For the women, when the female reproductive organs get in contact with this salty water, more often they develop uterine complications. The men on the other hand are also affected. When the male organs come into contact with this salty water they itch, and excessive scratching can cause wounds.

Surviving for a meager five dollars a day is a poor income. Coarse salt is still mined the way it was done over centuries years ago. Men, women and children all work at the mines for their own survival, including a large number of refugees from the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo. Workers extract three main products from Lake Katwe: blocks of rock salt used in curing hides; high quality salt crystals that can be sold as table salt; and salty mud that is used as salt licks for cattle.

Theses pictures show salt miners working on a salt pans pile on the shores of Lake Katwe.

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Uganda: Slaves of their own survival ...
Katwe Village Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
17 Aug 2012

Lake Katwe - Uganda - 2012-08-17- Formed about ten thousand years ago from a volcanic eruption, Lake Katwe lies in Queen Elisabeth National Park, in Kasese district, western Uganda, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo through Lake Edward.

Lake Katwe salt mine is a source of livelihood to over three thousand people in the area and in good times hundreds of salt miners at Lake Katwe can make a reasonable living, even if in self-slavery. Due to the hyper saline water that sucks moisture from their bodies and infuses them with toxic chemicals, there are severe health complications. The smell of hydrogen sulphide is all over the place.

For the women, when the female reproductive organs get in contact with this salty water, more often they develop uterine complications. The men on the other hand are also affected. When the male organs come into contact with this salty water they itch, and excessive scratching can cause wounds.

Surviving for a meager five dollars a day is a poor income. Coarse salt is still mined the way it was done over centuries years ago. Men, women and children all work at the mines for their own survival, including a large number of refugees from the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo. Workers extract three main products from Lake Katwe: blocks of rock salt used in curing hides; high quality salt crystals that can be sold as table salt; and salty mud that is used as salt licks for cattle.

Theses pictures show salt miners working on a salt pans pile on the shores of Lake Katwe.

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Uganda: Slaves of Their Own Survival ...
Katwe Village, Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
17 Aug 2012

Lake Katwe - Uganda - 2012-08-17- Formed about ten thousand years ago from a volcanic eruption, Lake Katwe lies in Queen Elisabeth National Park, in Kasese district, western Uganda, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo through Lake Edward.

Lake Katwe salt mine is a source of livelihood to over three thousand people in the area and in good times hundreds of salt miners at Lake Katwe can make a reasonable living, even if in self-slavery. Due to the hyper saline water that sucks moisture from their bodies and infuses them with toxic chemicals, there are severe health complications. The smell of hydrogen sulphide is all over the place.

For the women, when the female reproductive organs get in contact with this salty water, more often they develop uterine complications. The men on the other hand are also affected. When the male organs come into contact with this salty water they itch, and excessive scratching can cause wounds.

Surviving for a meager five dollars a day is a poor income. Coarse salt is still mined the way it was done over centuries years ago. Men, women and children all work at the mines for their own survival, including a large number of refugees from the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo. Workers extract three main products from Lake Katwe: blocks of rock salt used in curing hides; high quality salt crystals that can be sold as table salt; and salty mud that is used as salt licks for cattle.

Theses pictures show salt miners working on a salt pans pile on the shores of Lake Katwe.

Thumb sm
Uganda: Slaves of their own survival ...
Katwe Village Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
17 Aug 2012

Lake Katwe - Uganda - 2012-08-17- Formed about ten thousand years ago from a volcanic eruption, Lake Katwe lies in Queen Elisabeth National Park, in Kasese district, western Uganda, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo through Lake Edward.

Lake Katwe salt mine is a source of livelihood to over three thousand people in the area and in good times hundreds of salt miners at Lake Katwe can make a reasonable living, even if in self-slavery. Due to the hyper saline water that sucks moisture from their bodies and infuses them with toxic chemicals, there are severe health complications. The smell of hydrogen sulphide is all over the place.

For the women, when the female reproductive organs get in contact with this salty water, more often they develop uterine complications. The men on the other hand are also affected. When the male organs come into contact with this salty water they itch, and excessive scratching can cause wounds.

Surviving for a meager five dollars a day is a poor income. Coarse salt is still mined the way it was done over centuries years ago. Men, women and children all work at the mines for their own survival, including a large number of refugees from the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo. Workers extract three main products from Lake Katwe: blocks of rock salt used in curing hides; high quality salt crystals that can be sold as table salt; and salty mud that is used as salt licks for cattle.

Theses pictures show salt miners working on a salt pans pile on the shores of Lake Katwe.

Thumb sm
Uganda: Slaves of their own survival ...
Katwe,Village,Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
17 Aug 2012

Lake Katwe - Uganda - 2012-08-17- Formed about ten thousand years ago from a volcanic eruption, Lake Katwe lies in Queen Elisabeth National Park, in Kasese district, western Uganda, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo through Lake Edward.

Lake Katwe salt mine is a source of livelihood to over three thousand people in the area and in good times hundreds of salt miners at Lake Katwe can make a reasonable living, even if in self-slavery. Due to the hyper saline water that sucks moisture from their bodies and infuses them with toxic chemicals, there are severe health complications. The smell of hydrogen sulphide is all over the place.

For the women, when the female reproductive organs get in contact with this salty water, more often they develop uterine complications. The men on the other hand are also affected. When the male organs come into contact with this salty water they itch, and excessive scratching can cause wounds.

Surviving for a meager five dollars a day is a poor income. Coarse salt is still mined the way it was done over centuries years ago. Men, women and children all work at the mines for their own survival, including a large number of refugees from the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo. Workers extract three main products from Lake Katwe: blocks of rock salt used in curing hides; high quality salt crystals that can be sold as table salt; and salty mud that is used as salt licks for cattle.

Theses pictures show salt miners working on a salt pans pile on the shores of Lake Katwe.

Thumb sm
Uganda: Slaves of their own survival ...
Katwe,Village,Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
17 Aug 2012

Lake Katwe - Uganda - 2012-08-17- Formed about ten thousand years ago from a volcanic eruption, Lake Katwe lies in Queen Elisabeth National Park, in Kasese district, western Uganda, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo through Lake Edward.

Lake Katwe salt mine is a source of livelihood to over three thousand people in the area and in good times hundreds of salt miners at Lake Katwe can make a reasonable living, even if in self-slavery. Due to the hyper saline water that sucks moisture from their bodies and infuses them with toxic chemicals, there are severe health complications. The smell of hydrogen sulphide is all over the place.

For the women, when the female reproductive organs get in contact with this salty water, more often they develop uterine complications. The men on the other hand are also affected. When the male organs come into contact with this salty water they itch, and excessive scratching can cause wounds.

Surviving for a meager five dollars a day is a poor income. Coarse salt is still mined the way it was done over centuries years ago. Men, women and children all work at the mines for their own survival, including a large number of refugees from the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo. Workers extract three main products from Lake Katwe: blocks of rock salt used in curing hides; high quality salt crystals that can be sold as table salt; and salty mud that is used as salt licks for cattle.

Theses pictures show salt miners working on a salt pans pile on the shores of Lake Katwe.

Thumb sm
Uganda: Slaves of their own survival ...
Katwe,Village,Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
17 Aug 2012

Lake Katwe - Uganda - 2012-08-17- Formed about ten thousand years ago from a volcanic eruption, Lake Katwe lies in Queen Elisabeth National Park, in Kasese district, western Uganda, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo through Lake Edward.

Lake Katwe salt mine is a source of livelihood to over three thousand people in the area and in good times hundreds of salt miners at Lake Katwe can make a reasonable living, even if in self-slavery. Due to the hyper saline water that sucks moisture from their bodies and infuses them with toxic chemicals, there are severe health complications. The smell of hydrogen sulphide is all over the place.

For the women, when the female reproductive organs get in contact with this salty water, more often they develop uterine complications. The men on the other hand are also affected. When the male organs come into contact with this salty water they itch, and excessive scratching can cause wounds.

Surviving for a meager five dollars a day is a poor income. Coarse salt is still mined the way it was done over centuries years ago. Men, women and children all work at the mines for their own survival, including a large number of refugees from the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo. Workers extract three main products from Lake Katwe: blocks of rock salt used in curing hides; high quality salt crystals that can be sold as table salt; and salty mud that is used as salt licks for cattle.

Theses pictures show salt miners working on a salt pans pile on the shores of Lake Katwe.

Thumb sm
Uganda: Slaves of their own survival ...
Katwe,Village,Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
17 Aug 2012

Lake Katwe - Uganda - 2012-08-17- Formed about ten thousand years ago from a volcanic eruption, Lake Katwe lies in Queen Elisabeth National Park, in Kasese district, western Uganda, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo through Lake Edward.

Lake Katwe salt mine is a source of livelihood to over three thousand people in the area and in good times hundreds of salt miners at Lake Katwe can make a reasonable living, even if in self-slavery. Due to the hyper saline water that sucks moisture from their bodies and infuses them with toxic chemicals, there are severe health complications. The smell of hydrogen sulphide is all over the place.

For the women, when the female reproductive organs get in contact with this salty water, more often they develop uterine complications. The men on the other hand are also affected. When the male organs come into contact with this salty water they itch, and excessive scratching can cause wounds.

Surviving for a meager five dollars a day is a poor income. Coarse salt is still mined the way it was done over centuries years ago. Men, women and children all work at the mines for their own survival, including a large number of refugees from the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo. Workers extract three main products from Lake Katwe: blocks of rock salt used in curing hides; high quality salt crystals that can be sold as table salt; and salty mud that is used as salt licks for cattle.

Theses pictures show salt miners working on a salt pans pile on the shores of Lake Katwe.