Burkina Faso: in the village of Perkoa, the fate of missing miners has frozen everything

A rescuer during the operation to save miners stuck in the Perkoa mine, May 13, 2022 © ANNE MIMAULT / REUTERS

Text by: RFI Follow

2 mins

Time seems to stand still in Perkoa, the village that is home to the zinc mine site where eight people are still missing.

All recreational activities are suspended.

All eyes are on the mine, where everyone is waiting for news.

In schools, teachers have to deal with questions from their students. 


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With our correspondent in Burkina Faso,

Yaya Boudani

In Perkoa, the village that houses the zinc mine, life has been slowing down since April 16, when a flood occurred,

blocking eight miners at a depth of nearly 720 meters

 : six Burkinabè, a Tanzanian and a Zambian.

In the village, no more rejoicing or recreational activities.

At school, teachers deal with students' questions about the situation of missing minors.

Mrs. Tondé, born Assita Sangaré, teacher, confides: “ 

It's desolation.

We are in the school setting.

One way or another, this event cannot but affect the work.

We try to cheer them up, to bring their spirits back to class because it's not the end of the year yet.


► To read also: Burkina Faso: emotion and anger in the village of missing miners of Perkoa

For the very old people living in the villages around the mine, this is the first time that such a tragedy has occurred on a mineral exploitation site.

Philipe Bayala, one of them, explains: “ 

The flood surprised us.

We were really surprised.

There may be landslides, explosions on mining sites.

But this is the first time that we are witnessing such a phenomenon, even our ancestors never experienced it.


Whether they are from Perkoa, Sanguié or Bonyolo, the people are still waiting for answers.

Meanwhile, the evacuation of water continues on the side of the mine, where the rescuers

found an empty refuge chamber on

Tuesday, May 17.

Location of the Perkoa mine, in Burkina Faso.



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  • Burkina Faso