As coal boosts Mozambique, rural people left behind

by Lydia Polgreen

As Mozambique receives huge international investments in mining and natural gas, some find jobs and new opportunities while others find displacement and despair. Those on the site of one new coal mine were moved 25 miles away from the mine, to  live in crumbling, leaky houses, farming barren plots of land, far from any kind of jobs that the mine might create. Photo: New York Times

CATEME, Mozambique — When Augusto Conselho Chachoka and his neighbors heard that the world’s biggest coal mine was to be built on their land, a tantalizing new future floated before them. Instead of scraping by as subsistence farmers, they would earn wages as miners, they thought. The mining company would build them sturdy new