Stories From a Local Economy

The Kamituga region in the Democratic Republic of Congo is highly dependent on gold extraction. In order to get a differentiated view on the local economy, PhD candidate Gabriel Kamundala (University of Zurich) did interviews with workers and entrepreneurs of different professions and fields.

Surrounded by dust and noise

The mine workers in the self-excavated mines face great danger and precarious conditions. Raymond Mulonda Tanga describes his situation.

Women in water

Women workers buy the remains of the extraction from the miners and laboriously wash out the sparse remaining gold. Salome Bitendanwa, a widow who struggles to feed her children, explains her work as a gold washer.

On the gold scale

The mine workers sell the extracted gold to local traders. Here they also receive loans to pre-finance their work and their living. Santos Omben Kayanda, a gold buyer in Kamituga, gives insights into the local business.

In the stores

The negative consequences of artisanal gold mining, such as labor exploitation and environmental hazards, are counterbalanced by positive effects for a poverty-stricken region. Vainquer Murhesa Ephrem, a pharmacy owner in Kamituga, discusses the local economy from his perspective.

Interviews by Gabriel Kamundala @ 2021 ZHdK