Mandiana : prostitution, a disturbing reality in gold-mining sites

Mining areas in the Mandiana prefecture have become fertile ground for prostitution. Married women and young girls who converge to these areas are attracted by fast money and better economic opportuinities. However, behind these hopes, lies a dangerous and sad reality. In the district of Djoma Balandou, a locality belonging to the Kondianakoro subprefecture, slums housing foreigners who have come to work on gold-mining sites are springing up like mushrooms on the edges of the village.

In these cosmopolitan areas, prostitution centers are the only after-work leisure venues.  Most married women and young girls who porstitute themselves in these areas use arguments to deceive their families and justify their departure. They claim going to do business or to find a job, but the reality is quite different. In the shadow of these activities, prostitution is the only alternative for them to make money.

After several days of refusal, a married woman with an imposing physique and attracting lovers of curvaceous women finally accepted to lend herself to our microphone, in exchange of some Guinean franc bills. "I came here to make money in artisanal gold mining, but I barely get what I expect, so I got involved in this "business". I am married with 2 children, but my husband does not know that I lead such a life, selling myself. I have been in Mandiana for two years, but I lost my capital. Then this is how I ended up in prostitution", she explained.

Another lady, who came from Lower Guinea with the intent to make money in gold-panning, ended up in prostitution through a friend who had encouraged her to join her in Djoma Balandou. "I have been convinced into prostitution by a friend who told me that she knew how to make money through small-scale trade in gold panning areas. This is how she invited me to come to Djoma Balandou. When I arrived, she hosted me in a room in a slum a few kilometers away from the village. At night, she introduced me to a man in a bar, and the man gave me GNF 50 000 when I was leaving the place. Two days later, I realized that I was being sollicited by men who kept offering me gifts. That is how I got into prostitution, like my friend, because my family used to ask me for favors which I could not afford. Today, I can provide for myself and for my family. I can make between GNF 300 000 and GNF 500 000 per a day", she said.

Prostitution is this area is fueled by demand from male workers, often isolated and in lack of companionship. Women in despair over their precarious economic situation see in this activity a way for providing for themselves. Such is the case of this young lady from Siguiri who preferred to remain anonymous like the others. "I traveled with a man in the same vehicle to Djoma Balandou. As I did not know anyone , he suggested that I stay in his house for the night. Before going to bed, he obliged me to watch a movie for adults. This movie aroused me and we had sex. The next morning he gave me money for my breakfast. Since that day, I have been living with him as in a normal couple. My husband leaves in the village and he thinks that I have been staying with a friend for a year now. My agreement with that man is that he gives me whatever I want in exchange for sex", she said.

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