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Philippines suffers poverty divide

By Mark Doyle
Developing World Correspondent in Manila

As the rubbish truck approached, dozens of people surged towards it, running through knee-high garbage to reach the fresh treasure.

They scrambled onto the tailboard and roof of the truck even before it opened its rear gate to pour out its stinking cargo.

The near-destitute people began foraging amongst the detritus for morsels.

Smokey Mountian Part 1

It breaks your heart'

Stories by Mike Comerford
Photographs by Mark Welsh
Daily Herald Staff

The poorest of the Philippines' poor live among mountains of garbage. Some suburbanites have given up their valuables and dedicated themselves to ridding their homeland of pervasive poverty.

Smokey Mountian Part 2

"Smokey Mountains" in the Philippines

Smoky Mountain is a nickname for the city dump where 250-300 families live. There are many poor and depressing places, but this is almost overwhelming. It's one of the saddest and hardest place on earthwhere families, kids, and infants, all live and eat in the garbage. If the maggots and stench aren't enough, half the place is smoldering on fire. The women and children have burns and scars from picking through the trash. Smoke from the burning garbage chokes you. There are things here that are indescribable. None of God's creation should live like this!

Smokey Mountain (Day One)

Rag Pickers of India

by K.L.Kamat
Written: October 22, 1999
First Online: October 20,2006

What do illiterate, unskilled people do in India that do not want or cannot beg for a living?

They pick trash.

Also, many Indian states are now enforcing anti-begging laws and hence even the beggars have opted for rag-picking to sustain themselves.

Ragpickers work in toxic conditions

Ragpickers join India Inc value chain


NEW DELHI : It's ragtime folks! India Inc. is poised to get ragpickers to strike fortune at the bottom of the pyramid. Top companies like Tetra Pak, Dabur, Amul, Parle, Karnataka Dairy, among others, are wooing ragpickers to participate in their value chain. Though Tetra Pak is spearheading the movement of carton collection, companies are signing up thick and fast.

Slum Life

India's ragpickers Scavenger hunt

Nov 15th 2007 | DELHI AND MUMBAI

Disposing of rubbish, and wrecking livelihoods

TARA BAI, a ragpicker in Mumbai who was named after an Indian queen, shakes her head angrily when asked if she is disgusted by her job: picking through mounds of rotting refuse for sellable plastic and metal. It's not like that; it's how I survive, says the farmer's daughter, who moved to the city in 1972, when drought ended her rural life. But opening a fresh sack of rubbish to reveal millions of squirming maggots, she turns away as if to stop herself gagging.

Ragpickers: Scavengers of a different graveyard

Manilas Garbage Dump Offers Lifeline For Poor

by Karl Wilson
Manila (AFP) Mar 07, 2006

Every day, well before dawn breaks over Manila, a small army of human scavengers make their way from the squalid slums they call home to the gates of the city's biggest garbage dump. Armed with headlamps and wicker baskets they make the slow walk to the top of the Payatas dumpsite on the outskirts of Manila.

Dumpsite Life 5 LINGAP

The Payatas Dumpsite

The Payatas Dumpsite in Quezon City is the main terminal for the solid waste collected in the city. The Payatas' forerunner, Smokey Mountains, was notorious. Payatas' reputation became just as bad in connection with the huge landslide in year 2000 when a large number of scavengers were literally buried under the waste.

Payatas, a Mirror of Poverty

Six Years After the Tragedy: Payatas Revisited

On 10 July in the great garbage dump of Metro Manila, a mountain of compressed methane filled trash began to move. The rains had been torrential, non-stop for a week and the mountain of garbage was saturated. It was only inevitable that a tragedy would occur. Hundreds of squatter's huts where the scavengers and trash pickers lived were at the base of the giant trash pile that towered into the sky and smoldered on most dry days like a dangerous volcano. It was as dangerous as one. Without warning, the mountain began to slide; it developed into an avalanche, so powerful nothing could stand in its way. The people didn't have a chance. At least 500 were buried alive in an instant; only 150 bodies were recovered by rescuers.

Victims of garbage dump

Iraqis eke out living in Baghdad rubbish dump

By Ross Colvin

Sitting amid mounds of rotting garbage in a rubbish dump in Baghdad, 13-year-old Huda Hamdan is the human face of a new U.N. report that says a third of war- torn Iraq's 26 million people live in poverty.

The teenager, wearing a black veil, is taking a break from scavenging for aluminum cans and glass bottles that she sells for a few Iraqi dinars. She tries not to gag from the stench of the decomposing household refuse surrounding her.

Orphan:Burma refugees living in a Thai garbage dump

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How the Lazy Cat Fooled Himself