Africans report hideous working conditions in uranium mines

Five African environment activists from four countries are telling German anti-nuclear groups about dirty dealings and contaminated regions in connection with uranium mining.

A recently launched Uranium Network has invited the uranium experts from Namibia, Niger, Tanzania und Malawi to tour Germany.


The uranium price has shot up in recent years. A blessing for the poor continent? Definitely not, say the activists.


One place they're visiting is Gorleben in north Germany, where people from all over the country have resisted nuclear waste dumping for more than 30 years. The umbrella resistance group there, Bürgerinitiative Umweltschutz (BI) Lüchow-Dannenberg, are hosting them.


They're to report on the conditions under which uranium is mined in their countries.


More than half the uranium used for nuclear weapons or power comes from Canada, Australia or
Kazakhstan, but Russia, the USA and a number of African countries are also suppliers.


Uranium mining not only causes nuclear-generated electricity to do more damage to the climate than the industry constantly tries to make us believe, it also damages people and the environment.


Almoustapha Alhacen from Niger reports on water 110 times as radioactively contaminated as the worst allowed by the World Health Organization. (One of the world's poorest countries, Niger is to get the world's second biggest uranium mine, two thirds owned by the French government's nuclear company AREVA.


He works for the German-French Areva and has started an initiative that critically addresses the dangers to workers. Some of his colleagues have died, presumably from irradiation.


His activism is not welcomed by all. Even his colleagues were more afraid of losing their jobs than the health hazards in their work.


But meanwhile his work is recognised and he sharply attacks the situation in the uranium industry. "When someone dies it's normally declared to be due to AIDS," he says.


Africa is the perfect place for the uranium industry, explains Bertchen Kohrs of the environment activist organisation Earthlife Namibia.


She says in her country uranium mines are treated legally like any other resource mine, labour is cheap, many workers are uninformed, taxes are low.


Namibia, a former German colony, is the world's fourth largest uranium exporter, Kohrs reports. Uranium comprises 16.5% of its exports.


Kohrs blames environment campaigners for needlessly scaring tourists away from Namibia, saying it's
a skewed way of looking at it because in reality it was the uranium mines that were keeping tourists away.



Wolfgang Ehmke 0170 5105606

Zeige Kommentare: ausgeklappt | moderiert

Am am Dienstag, den 19. Mai um 19 Uhr findet im Hotel zur Post in
Dannenberg unter dem Titel:

Uranabbau in Afrika - wo bleiben die Menschenrechte?

eine Veranstaltung über nuklearen Brennstoffkette statt.

Afrika ist begehrt - zumindest wenn es um Uranabbau geht. In den letzten Jahren ist
der Uran-Preis in die Höhe geschossen. Ein Segen für Afrika? Nein, sagen fünf
Umweltaktivisten aus Namibia, Niger, Tansania und Malawi.
Sie berichten auf ihrer Info-Tour vom Anfang der nuklearen Brennstoffkette, von dreckigen Geschäften und verseuchten Regionen. Eine Station ihrer Rundreise ist das Wendland.
Gastgeber ist die Bürgerinitiative Umweltschutz (BI) Lüchow-Dannenberg.


--------------------------- Gorleben-Newsletter ------------------------------
Herausgeber / verantwortlich: Redaktion "Castor-Nix-Da"

Von Entdinglichung
- Collectif Tchinaghen - (Soligruppe aus Frankreich für den Kampf der Tuareg im Norden Nigers wo die Uranmine von Arlit liegt)
- Collectif "Areva ne fera pas la loi au Niger" - (kritische Webseite zum Urankonzern AREVA)