Mongolia's homeless live in sewers

Oct 15, 2000

The eight-month pregnant 17-year-old young girl Altanchimeg crawls out from "home" to look for her livelihood. Altanchimeg says she has been living in this city for 8 years
WINTER at Ulaanbaatar, capital of Mongolia, is so cold that it has forced homeless people to seek shelter underground and in the sewers.

With temperatures dipping to minus 25 degrees Celsius, winter is a relatively difficult season for the homeless.

Their choice to go underground is not only to be near heating pipes, but also to refrain from "harming" the city's appearances, said a Chinese media.

Known as the "ant tribe", they crawl into manholes and through sewers when it turns dark. By living in sewers, they do not block the roads and hence will not be told to evict.

However, the conditions of these underground homes are devastating. It is dark and some even sleep among trash. Candles are their only source of light and there is almost no form of entertainment. One of them often drinks herself dead drunk. Their conditions are dismal and they have no choice.
11-year-old Menhtor, who has already learned how to get drunk, lies in a daze at the entrance to "home'
Menhtor is dead drunk and asleep, having collapsed on the manhole cover
Altanchimeg (right) and her friend Tsetsegee are at "home" preparing a meal.

The two of them take care of and depend on each other in life.

Every winter, they live beside a nearby heating pipe to hide from the cold winter
The homeless who live in sewers are also known as the "ant tribe" - those who do not "hurt" the image of the city.
Altanchimeg is brushing her hair, Tsetsegee (front) is on the side reading a book by candlelight



1 comment:

  1. pictures are taken almost 2 decade ago... need to have new pictures and I doubt even now those people are living in same sewer...


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