Tense neighbors: Chinese quarry in Cameroon takes a toll on locals

Tense neighbors: Chinese quarry in Cameroon takes a toll on locals

FEBE, Cameroon — In Febe, just six kilometres (about four miles) from Cameroon’s capital Yaoundé, a stone quarry overlooks a mountain slope and the bustling life of the village. Twice a month, the ground around the mine operated by the Chinese company Jinli Cameroon LLC vibrates as it launches huge explosives. A cloud of white dust soon fills the sky and several homes near the quarry tremble. One of these homes belongs to Ambroise Ondoa, a local leader. His house, not far off from the quarry, has seen better days. Severe weather damaged the roof and the walls are covered with deep cracks. The sixty-year-old is hunkered down with his family in the only room that still has a partial roof, desperately waiting to be able to save enough of their farming income to repair his home. His dilapidated home is partly the result of vibrations from intense quarry activity, he tells Mongabay. Homes on the slopes of Mount Nkol-Bifouan. Image by Yannick Kenné. “The after-effects are noticeable almost everywhere on the houses in this area. You only have to look at the impact on my house, with the roof destroyed and cracks all over the place. I’m not even the closest to the quarry,” explains Ambroise Ondoa. “We feel vibrations when they blast. It’s powerful enough to even knock down small children.” The company uses explosives to blast rubble before crushing it into various materials for sale. Basalt is a common stone mined in the quarry and is made…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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