On Friday, an interesting and thought-provoking article was released. It was a story about of a farmer in Peru that brought his sheep down to the river, and within a few minutes after they drank, they all died a violent death. This is because this stream was filled with poisonous nitrate from blasting into mountains in order to scrape out what little gold they could find. The American company, Newport Mining Company, is being funded by the World Bank and IFC to blast away at mountains and use toxic chemicals in to get out the gold ore. The gold mine in this instance is called Yanacocha and is the one of the leading gold mines in production today. When the mine is blasted, they mix cyanide type residue that pulls out the gold ore. This residue is easily washed away with rainwater and is not taken care of beforehand, which ends up in the water streams. Though this mining process is said to bring in many new jobs, over 50% of the population in the Cajamarca province where Yanacocha lies live beneath the poverty line and do not see any benefits from this environmental destruction.
World Bank and IFC has been caught with going over their own policies before and there is no reason for it to stop here. The problem with this situation is the fact that the World Bank has been more inclined in recent years to fund situations that could be hazardous to the countries they are trying to develop, simply to exploit them for their resources. This sort of greed is what we have been seeing in Brazil as well, only the World Bank is not hurting themselves directly, so the consequences are not as visible.
This story follows Ethiopia as well and shows how the World Bank is creating hazardous situations there. As these chemicals increase in contamination, the question comes up of how bad will the people have to suffer before World Bank stops the environmental destruction?