Photographer's Note

On the road between Guelwongo and Boungou, we stopped at a gold washers' cabin. This kid was the child of one of those gold washing families.

Burkina Faso is a famous spot for gold washing activities. This contributes 10% of the Gross Domestic Product of the country, and comes third for exports after agriculture and cattle breeding, and long before industry. This activity draws a large number of people, nationals and foreigners, old and young, women and children, all eager to improve their lives.
They mostly come from the peasant world, and end up in gold washing out of pique, after being the victims of draughts and hunger. Urban unemployment also swells those numbers. After a few years of gold prices fall on the international market, those poor populations have particularly suffered and now present a whole range of social evils : difficult working conditions, promiscuity, lack of hygiene, alcoholism, prostitution, criminality, illegitimate births and environment degradation.
They are also particularly affected by HIV/AIDS and are now the target of some UNO campaigns in Burkina Faso. Numerous reports can be read on the web on the issue(although mostly in French).

a color version of this photo posted as a ws

conneally, faubry, designsoul, luisafonso, Paolo oznaczył to zdjęcie jeko użyteczne

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Additional Photos by Eric LE PARC (eleparc) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2146 W: 83 N: 2109] (24063)
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