September 20, 2012
Geddani’s ship-breaking yards employ some 10,000 workers including welders, cleaners, crane operators and worker supervisors. The yards are one of the largest ship-breaking operations in the world rivaling in size those located in India and Bangladesh. It takes 50 workers about three months to break down a midsize average transport sea vessel of about 40,000 tonnes. The multimillion-dollar ship-breaking industry contributes significantly to the national supply of steel to Pakistani industries. For a six-day working week of hard and often dangerous work handling asbestos, heavy metals and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), employees get paid about 300 USD a month of which half is spent on food and rent for run-down rickety shacks near the yards.
This beautiful set of images by Agence France Press photographer Roberto Schmidt illustrate the daily life of the Geddani ship-breakers.
Edited and sequenced by photo editor James O’Hara