This Mother’s Day, as we celebrate, thank and honor our mothers for all the things they do for us, I thought I would share some images of mothers in some of the world’s worst polluted places.
I see them all the time when I visit polluted hotspots where, really, no one should be living. I see them going about their daily, often back-breaking work, many times with children in tow. Like many moms the world over, these women are often too busy taking care of daily necessities to do anything else, let alone ponder the extremely contaminated environment in which they happen to live.
But these women are often the key to change once they realize their children are being poisoned. They are the ones we usually work with to raise awareness about pollution in their communities and what they can do to keep safe, until the cleanup is completed. So to these mothers on the frontlines of pollution… thanks. We are working on giving them the ultimate Mother’s Day gift – a poison-free home.
Taking a break from scavenging at a dumpsite in India
Mother and child living near the contaminated Kharkai river in eastern India
A woman extracting gold from ore in Senegal, with children and food nearby. There are over 4.5 million women and some 600,000 children who are involved in artisanal gold mining around the world, and who are exposed to direct contact with toxic mercury used in the process.
Daily housework in the middle of Ghana's notorious Sodom and Gomorrah e-wasteland - the Agbogbloshie market.
Mother sleeping with her child in the middle of Ghana's Agbogbloshie market, where most of the world's e-waste ends up.
A Blacksmith team can be seen in the background doing some site testing