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Sapphira Madagascar

Lihee Avidan | Madagascar

Laborers dig in search of gems, in the province of Fianarantsoa. They work in societe's of 3 to 5 people, who share the profits of any stones found. They operate without any infrastructure - no ventilation or roof supports and can spend hours below ground - working in tunnels that branch out from the main shaft. The Ministry of Mining and Energy reports 2 to 3 deaths from collapsed tunnels per day.

Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world, with over half the population living well below the World Bank’s poverty line of one dollar a day, and most men cannot expect to see their 56th year. The country is also estimated to have one of the largest gem stone deposits on the planet. The sapphire trade directly links the very poorest Malagasy labourers to some of the richest people in the world – buyers at bespoke jewellers in London, Paris and New York. Stones bought to flaunt wealth come from a country without basic infrastructure – roads, healthcare, education.

This is the story of the people who mine Madagascar

CASM - Communities and small scale mining

Lihee Avidan

Photojournalist & documentary film-maker

websites:  www.liheeavidan.com


email:      liheeavidan@gmail.com

mobile:    +972 528899962

Check out the slideshows of "Sapphira Madagascar" online


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