In a country where more than 90 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day, discovery of pink sapphire in the early 90’s brought thousands of people seeking their fortune in the little village of Ilakaka, south of Madagascar.
Virtually overnight this sleepy village become the sapphire capital of the world. In less than a year the original 85 inhabitants, witnessed the arrival of 100,000 prospectors.
The myth of Ilakaka grew as fast as its population. In fields reminescent of war battlefields people of all ages work with picks and shovels hoping to find a stone valuable enough to allow them to live a better life .
But boom towns don’t last forever and these days thousand of people keep digging deep narrow unventilated holes for months and years finding virtually nothing but tiny stones that hardly allow them to survive.