Namibia, 2009

The Rössing Mine in western Namibia provides the energy company Vattenfall with more than twenty percent of the uranium used in its seven Swedish nuclear reactors. This means the mine alone stands for at least seven percent of the electricity used in Sweden each year. And Vattenfall are not alone buying uranium from Namibia. As an answer to a changing climate, world demand on the radioactive element has increased and Namibias uranium industry is booming.

Unemployment rates in the southern African country are high, and many are the people moving to the growing town Arandis with hope of finding a job in the new mines. But competition is hard, and many remain unemployed while others find work at the construction site where a new settlement is built. During a bread from work one of them look at a brand new car passing by. He tells me he´d rathere work in the mine. Why? Look at them, they live happy lives with a lot more money than we will ever get.

At the same time, former Rössing workers are falling ill and are fighting the mining company to get them to investigate if their health problems are related to their work in the mine.

Copyright © Erik Abel.