AFRICA – A choking beast of prey – Mega Mines in Zambia

“A crouching vicious beast of prey whose snorts grow ever louder as if choking on its painful digestion of human flesh”. Thus goes Émile Zola’s description of a vast coalmine in his novel Germinal about a mid-nineteenth century coal mining community in northern France. Under Zola’s analysis, if the vicious beast is choking, so are the people living in its midst. This is the case with two mining communities I experienced earlier this week, when I accompanied a Zambian Jesuit, Fr. Charles Chilufya SJ, in some fieldwork examining environmental and social degradation caused by large-scale mining. We visited Kankoyo and Chingola, two townships situated approximately 50 km north of Kitwe in the Copperbelt region of northern Zambia. Read more…