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Quarry Workers in Myanmar Suffer Health Problems, No Compensation

Workers at a quarry in Ohn Chaw Village off the Mandalay-Lashio road, near Mandalay. Photo and caption by Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

Workers at a quarry in Ohn Chaw Village off the Mandalay-Lashio road, near Mandalay. Photo and caption by Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

This article by Zaw Zaw is from The Irrawaddy, an independent news website in Myanmar, and is republished on Global Voices as part of a content-sharing agreement.

At private quarries in a village off the Mandalay-Lashio road, workers risk their health to make ends meet.

Many workers reportedly suffer from serious lung diseases as a result of inhaling stone particles daily at quarries in Ohn Chaw village, near Mandalay.

There, quarry workers earn a maximum of 4,000 kyat [about US$3] a day, and underage workers earn just over $2—an amount too little to take proper care of their consequential health problems.

As daily wage earners the workers cannot afford to take sick leave because it means they will not get much-needed money to sustain their lives.

Despite the fact that the job involves high health risks, there is no compensation plan in place for the workers.

Most of the workers are internal migrants who return to their homes for treatment when their health problems become unbearable.

Some workers have died from working in the mining quarries, but none have received compensation, according to the workers.

See more photos of workers at the quarry site below:

Photo by Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

Photo by Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

Photo by Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

Photo by Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

Photo by Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

Photo by Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

Photo by Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

Photo by Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

Photo by Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

Photo by Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

Photo by Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

Photo by Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

Quarry land in Mandalay. Photo by Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

Quarry land in Mandalay. Photo by Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

Workers' housing center at the quarry site. Photo by Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

Workers’ housing center at the quarry site. Photo by Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

Photo by Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

Photo by Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy

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