Think the link Coltan Mining in the DRC Comparing Kenya and DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) Kenya The map on the left shows the GDP of the countries of Africa. GDP means the average amount of money each person in the country has per year. The GDP on this map has been measured in a way that compares all the different currencies so higher numbers = wealthier Low numbers = poorer These men live in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) one of the poorest countries in the world. 37% of Congolese people don’t have access to any medical service, 47% doesn’t have safe drinking water, and 50 million people eat less than two-thirds of the calories they need every day. People in the area were once farmers. That changed in 1998 when Rwanda and Uganda (the countries next door) invaded DRC. The Rwandan Army wants control of the area and the minerals within it. The war has killed thousands of people through fighting, starvation and disease. Two million people have been forced from their homes. Many have been forced to go and work on the mines. The invaded area is the Kahuzi Biega National Park in East DRC. This is rainforest and home to one of the endangered mountain gorilla. The rainforest is being cut down for mining and gorillas that live here are being killed for meat and because their habitat is going. These men mine coltan in the war zone. They have no option. They dig in the soil and then use large washtubs to slosh the water and mud. This lets the heavy coltan settle to the bottom. One man works with his son, who is ten years old. His son used to go to school but school is expensive so instead the boy works to earn money. The miners are supervised by Rwandan soldiers. When one finds some coltan, he hands it to the soldiers who then pay the man a small amount of money. The soldiers take the coltan to ‘trading posts’ controlled by the Rwandan Army. It is estimated that the Rwandan Army makes US$20 million a month from coltan mining. At the ‘trading posts’, foreign traders buy the coltan and ship it abroad. It is bought by one of three companies – the United States of America’s Cabot Inc. (USA), HC Starc (Germany) or Nigncxia (China). These companies to turn coltan into tantalum powder. This ‘magic powder’ is then sold to Nokia, Motorola, Compaq, Alcatel, Ericsson and Sony. Boris Johnson owns a mobile phone. The phone contains ‘magic powder’ from coltan. It is used to make the batteries in mobile phones last longer. So, when Boris bought a mobile phone, he connected himself to the coltan miners from the Democratic Republic of Congo. a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. What continent is DRC in? What is the main thing coltan is used for? Does DRC have a jungle? What large animal suffers due to coltan mining? Which two country’s armies invaded DRC to get its coltan? What is the invisible energy given off by coltan called? What does DRC stand for? Why are the gorillas dying out (there are two reasons). Name three of the phone companies that use coltan. Storyboard Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the poorest countries in the world Under the ground in DRC there is a type of rock called coltan. This is very valuable The people in east Rwanda used to live on the edge of the rainforest and work on their farms Soldiers from Rwanda invaded DRC. Thousands were killed and their farms were dug up to mine coltan. The farmers and their families now have to work as miners for very little money. Lots of the forest has been cut down and miners often kill gorillas to eat so the gorillas are endangered The coltan the miners find is bought by the army for very little money and then sold to big companies. Coltan is used to make batteries for the mobile phones we all use Think the link Stop using Coltan from the DRC 80% of coltan comes from the DRC, but Australia, Brazil and Thailand have reserves too . We should only buy mobile phones that use coltan from these countries. This is difficult because it is hard to know where coltan comes from. Community conservation reserves Conservation reserves are protected areas where tourists can see gorillas in their natural habitat. The community run the reserves and charges tourists entry fees to see the gorillas. This makes the community money instead of mining coltan. How can we solve the problem? Recycle mobile phones If mobile phones are recycled fewer new phones are needed, which reduces the need for coltan mining. People should donate old phones to charities such as Oxfam and to buy reconditioned phones rather than new ones. Help coltan miners Charities such as the Gorilla Organization help save gorillas but also improve conditions for people like the coltan miners. They have set up a reforestation project, a foodgrowing project and other ways of making money instead of mining. Which option would each of these people/things prefer? a. Gorillas would prefer ………… because …. b. Coltan miners would prefer ………… because …. c. The rainforest would prefer ………… because …. d. Mobile phone companies would prefer ………… because …. What should be done? Write a letter to Boris Johnson to describe what is happening and what should be done. This will needs 2 sections. 1. Use your storyboard to write a paragraph explaining what is happening 2. Then describe what you think should be done to improve the situation. Make sure you explain how your idea will work.