A yellow hell to survive
Imagine that smelly vapors will surprise you until you do
feel overwhelmed by nausea, that fumes enter it subtly
in the throat, down down ‘to the lungs, and that the eyes burn you up
to prevent you from seeing around.
This is the situation faced by the so-called
“sulfur collectors” at Kawah Ijen, east of Java, Indonesia, whose
labors are intended for the production of fertilizers and cosmetics.
In this remote corner of the Earth is the volcano Kawah Ijen,
which hides inside a beautiful turquoise lake from the waters
It is a place that appears paradisiacal, but which conceals a short distance away infernal atmosphere: yellowish fumes impossible to breathe e
temperatures at the limit of endurance.
It is here that fumaroles have been placed around since the 1960s
to the crater in order to extract the sulfur, and it is here that every day yes
bears Isroni, one of these sulfur collectors, which I followed
during one of his days of exhausting work. I saw it
set off at dawn with the basket still empty towards the path of 3
kilometers that leads to the edge of the crater, to then descend down ‘up
at the shores of the lake. I saw him smash the sulfur blocks with a
metal stick, between toxic fumes that cause a cough
insistent and make his eyes water. I saw him then charge
on the shoulders full of sores 100 kilos of sulfur, and retrace to
fatigue the reverse path, for an hour of walking, to the point of
Isroni earns about $ 6 a day, and very hardly
will be 50 years old. He is aware of the risks and risks
extreme conditions in which he is forced to work, but unfortunately it is
the only work he can do to eat and support his family.