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Africa

Meet the Mozambique team

DW reporters Marta Barroso and Bastian Hartig wanted to see coal. They spent a week travelling through Mozambique's raw materials province Tete. It turned out to be a tough assignment.

Dw reporter Marta Barroso AUTOR: Wolfgang Peuerböck

DW reporter Marta Barroso

Marta Barroso: "Every day it was the same ritual - send mails, make phone calls, send text messages, in the morning, in the afternoon and in between. Sometimes no one picked up the phone, sometimes we were told to speak to someone else. It would have been a great pity if we had not succeeded in getting an interview with Brazilian mining company Vale, since our reporting assignment focused on the changes the company has brought to Tete. We had to get Vale to the microphone and, if possible, visit the coal mines ourselves. And so the tension increased day by day, as did the exhaustion caused by constantly running after people. We got the green light on the very last day."

Bastian Hartig is confronted by the coal site watchman AUTOR: Marta Barroso.

DW reporter Bastian Hartig

Bastian Hartig: "We experienced on our very first day in Tete how sensitive the mining companies are about media coverage of coal extraction. We wanted to take a couple of photos of a coal loading site from the road outside. In less than five minutes, a watchman told us to stop. The gun in his hand added a certain weight to his words. We were only allowed to continue after we produced the official permission to film that we had from the provincial government. When the provincial governor's press spokesman summoned us the same evening to provide full details of our reporting, and wanted to know when and where we were planning to film, we became suspicious. But our fears proved groundless and he did not put any obstacles in our way."