This story excerpt was translated from French. To read the original story in full, visit EnviroNews. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.
In the Cuvette-Ouest region, in the Kellé district, more than 700 km from Brazzaville in the north of the Republic of Congo, companies engaged in semi-industrial gold mining in the Kélé-Mbomo Forestry and Development Unit had caused an ecological disaster that had never been known in the memory of the local populations: uncontrolled deforestation, the drying up of the watercourses being mined, the destruction of the ecosystems, and the pollution of water and the soil by the dumping of chemicals.
The people living along the river, deprived of their natural resources and their sources of water supply, were exposed to poverty and to water-borne and skin diseases.
Faced with pressure from the population and elected officials of this district, the government decided to suspend the activities of these companies and demanded the rehabilitation of the destroyed waterways and forests. One year later, companies have resumed their activities.
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