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Coal mine survivors recount harrowing tales

Coal mine survivors recount harrowing tales

Morocco

The exploitation of ore is the main cause of demonstrations that have shaken the city of Jerada, in the north of Morocco in recent days.

In this city, one of the poorest of the Cherifian kingdom, hundreds of miners like Abderrazzak risk their lives to clandestinely extract coal in abandoned mines.

A few days ago, he miraculously escaped death in an accident in a coal mine. But two of his companions did not have the same luck. Their deaths sparked anger and excitement among the local population who claim to be marginalized.

There have always been deaths in the coal mine, I lost my brother, my cousin, every time someone dies in the mine, we retrieve the body four or five days after The locals here have no other choice and that's why they continue to work in the mine to feed their children.

Mohamed Daioui, father of Abderrazzak said,

“There have always been deaths in the coal mine, I lost my brother, my cousin, every time someone dies in the mine, we retrieve the body four or five days after The locals here have no other choice and that’s why they continue to work in the mine to feed their children. “

Before the closure in the late 1990s of the mine, considered too expensive by the authorities, the mining activity in Jerada employed some 9,000 workers and was the main resource of the population.

Since the closure, the city has lost 15,000 inhabitants.

Abderrazak Daioui, survivor of an accident in a coal mine in Jerada said,

“We work in these mines alone because we don’t have any other alternative, there is no possibility to find work elsewhere.If we had the choice, we would never go back to these mines, no one would agree to go to work and die. “

On Tuesday, for the third day in a row, residents expressed their anger at their “marginalization” and demanded work.

Moroccan Prime Minister Saadeddine El Othmani says he is ready to “welcome parliamentarians from the region this week or next week to discuss the problems in the area.

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