Among the mountains and valleys of the upper and lower district of Dara-e Suf in Samangan Province, is one of the largest coal mines in Afghanistan.
The coal mines form a source of income for hundreds of hard working citizens of our nation.
Ghulam Nabi, a coal miner and father of five, said the work is hard, but the high income he earns helps to provide for his family. “W
e are a team of six workers, and our monthly income is around 400,000 Afghanis,” he said. “We mine the coal, and then transfer it with donkeys to fill the trucks. It takes about four days of hard work to fill a truck, but we are doing honest work for a good wage for our families.”
After Ghulam Nabi loads six trucks with coal, he gives one of them to the owner of the coal mine and sells the rest to the truck drivers. Ghulam Hussain drives a truck known as a Kamaz, to transport the coal to market. “There are three kinds of coal; first class, second class and third class,” Ghulam Hussain explained. “A truck of first class coal brings the highest price, enough to cover the costs and a driver can usually earn nearly 10,000 Afghanis per truckload.”
According to Ali Hassani, the district chief of Upper Dara-e Suf, the income derived from the mining is increasing annually. “While working the mine is hard work, the workers income in this industry has continually increased over the recent years,” he said. “Afghanistan has ample mining deposits, and our government is working to develop the mining industry in a larger scale that would create job opportunities for people and revenue for the country.”
Afghan miners like Ghulam Nabi remain hopeful that improving local economy and demand for coal will keep him on the job. “We are willing to work for our country. An
d our government’s support gives us hope that our national economy will continue to develop which means more people will have jobs,” Ghulam Nabi said.