Monday, February 08, 2010

It is as well to look a little more closely at things than the immediately apparent. I just found out today that I have been supporting child slave labour!

Ace has been in charge of the landfill on the new piece of land on which we are planning to build a large traditional Djenné House which will provide perhaps four or six new hotel rooms and also a proper flat for me by next season. Finally there will be no need to move out of my home to provide place for hotel guests when we are fully booked. But the land lies under the water level for about four months of the year after the rainy season. Last year we built a thick cement wall around all the land- a piece of 75m x 25m. This year we have filled in some areas; enough to build the new stable and we are now well on our way to filling in the area where the new large house will be built.
There are three donkey carts and about ten labourers working every day from early morning to about three in the afternoon. We pay by the voyage, and there are 20 cart loads in each voyage. At the end of the week I have a sizeable bill to pay to a marabou who owns the carts and the donkeys and arranges the labourers. Ace has calculated that it is cheaper to do it with donkey carts than with a lorry. We ordered a lorry voyage and compared the quantity of earth we got with how much we get for the same amount of money if we pay the donkey carts. It compared badly, so I agreed to do it with the carts, since it also seemed to me that it would provide some work for people and it would be less noisy and intrusive.


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