How deadly charcoal is bought and sold in an African market

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Charcoal for sale in an African market.

Xipamanine is a sprawling, labyrinthine marketplace in the heart of Maputo, Mozambique’s capital. On the street outside, tinny music blares and a bustling throng mills around. Inside, a series of winding corridors leads you through a maze of colorful booths that boast a wide variety of wares: shoes, stereo equipment, coconuts, toys, tomatoes, rugs, seeds, nuts, goats, and charcoal. Lots of charcoal.

You can buy it wholesale, in a gigantic sack with a month’s worth of cooking fuel, for about $20. An entire open air section of the market is dedicated to storing these bags; they’re stacked in imposing dust-covered piles….

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