Gold Dust: Under Blaise Compaore's leadership, Burkina Faso's unregulated gold rush has had a devastating effect on mining conditions. This report digs deep into the industry, exposing the corruption beneath Compaore's ruling.
Millions of people - including children as young as fourteen - mine in an unregulated industry for a few golden grams of hope. Marcel toils underground to support his family - but without the glittering rewards promised. “We all have hope, we hope to earn” he says, but "they rob us here...They treat the miner like an animal." 17-year old Soumaele has been mining for two years. His thin body can go to even deeper than the older men, to places where the air is impossible to breathe and the tunnels are likely to collapse. Gold promises a great deal, but in an anarchic industry, teacher Soungalo Hema fears for the future of children like Soumaele: "You try and save them", she says, "but a lot of the time it’s in vain. I ask myself 'what will happen to all of us?'"