Poor John and I signed up for a day-long tour of some interesting sites near Korhogo in the Ivory Coast. I’ve already shown you the bead-making village, but the most heartbreaking stop was at an enormous granite quarry.
According to our guide, the quarry has been going for about 40 years and most of the hard labour is done by women. A couple of fellows (we saw one) use huge sledge hammers to knock off huge chunks of granite, but the women break these into ever smaller pieces.
It’s sobering to realise that some of these women were born in this quarry and into this ‘career’. In turn, they have had children in this quarry and carry them on their backs as they work.
The granite—most of it is grey although some is pinkish—is used in construction and road works.
It was blisteringly hot when we were there, mostly without much shade. And as I sit here typing this—two countries further on—I can’t get them out of my mind. Who said slave labour does’t exist?
P.S. Some pic don’t have captions. You can see what’s happening.