Brave Villagers Stand Firm Against Gold Rush, Saving Ancient Perfume Trade in Somaliland

Ancient perfume trade in frankincense and myrrh was put at risk by a modern-day gold rush in somaliland. the gold miners had swarmed into the mountains, cutting down plants, damaging the roots of trees and blocking waterways with their rubbish. the villagers got very little of the money made from the frankincense and myrrh, which were used to create medicine, essential oils, expensive cosmetics and perfumes. ms mahamud and her family still used frankincense for medicinal purposes, and ms mahamud and the villagers of the frankincense village stood firm against the goldminers.

Gold rush in somaliland happened recently, and it caused much destruction to the local community. schools had closed due to teachers and students joining the gold rush, leading to deadly clan clashes in the area with the miners being armed. islamist groups were also demanding taxes from the gold-diggers. the miners had to sell the mineral to traders who smuggled it by sea to dubai, resulting in environmental destruction and wreaking havoc in their lives.

Gold rush happened because the miners had become addicted to drugs like khat, and were under the control of its dealers. some had even gone mad after finding a large sum of gold. myrrh trees were uprooted when the diggers cleared the land for surface mining, while frankincense trees last a bit longer as they grow on rocks and are destroyed once the miners dig deep into the earth. those who buy expensive items such as perfumes and cosmetics may not have any idea where the substances used to make them come from, how many hands they pass through, and how much damage they have caused. ms mahamud and the villagers of the frankincense village bravely stood firm against the goldminers, resulting in the miners running away and never coming back.

By Evey Lovelace

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