Please consider joining me in donating to ERD. I am part of the Episcopal-Anglican Congo Network that coordinates information and support for the DRC. Violent militia raids against villages are common – causing people to flee to the relative safety of one of 60 internal refugee camps. Covid-19 and Ebola are active.
Think this has nothing to do with you? Congo produces 60% of the world’s cobalt, used to produce lithium-ion batteries for electric cars, laptops, and smartphones. We in the Silicon Valley helped to create this mess. Let’s work to solve it. Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) is coordinating much-needed aid. What ERD does: “Episcopal Relief & Development works in collaboration with church partners and other local organizations to facilitate healthier, more fulfilling lives in communities that are struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease.”
Recent stories from the Congo:
- “As COVID-19 and conflict surge, DR Congo displaced face deadly consequences of chronic underfunding” (Reliefweb, UNHCR, 9 June 2020)
- “Militia massacre: 20 villagers killed in northeast DR Congo – Civilians hacked to death with machetes and shot in the latest attack by militias that have killed hundreds this year.” (Al Jazeera, 17 May 2020)
- “No link between two ongoing Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo” (Reliefweb, UNHCR, 9 June 2020)
- “Congo artisanal cobalt programme expands with industry backing” (Reuters, 21 April 2020)
- “Congo Moves to Monopolize About 25% of All Cobalt Exports” (Bloomberg, 30 January 2020)
- “Are These Tech Companies Complicit In Human Rights Abuses Of Child Cobalt Miners In Congo?” (Forbes, 13 January 2020)
- “Apple and Google named in US lawsuit over Congolese child cobalt mining deaths – Dell, Microsoft and Tesla also among tech firms named in case brought by families of children killed or injured while mining in DRC” (Guardian, 16 December 2019)
- “Top tech firms sued over DR Congo cobalt mining deaths – Apple, Google, Tesla and Microsoft are among firms named in a lawsuit seeking damages over deaths and injuries of child miners in the Democratic Republic of Congo.” (BBC News, 16 December 2019)
Not all the news is bad, some Silicon Valley companies are working on recycling as an alternate solution to the problem of needing Congo’s cobalt. For example: “Daisy is Apple’s new iPhone-recycling robot” (The Verge, 19 April 2018)
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