No Land for Nomads
With its booming mining sector and growing infrastructures, Mongolia has become one of the fastest-growing economies. Though there have been significant improvements in the past years, the lack of regulations and corruption are still the most visible problem ahead.
According to statistics from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), around 900,000 of the three million inhabitants of Mongolia still roam a territory that is three times the size of France, but its estimate that around 40,000 people settle down every year. Most settle on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar.
With rapid urbanization, social problems have proliferated. Unemployment is at around 60 percent in these new settlements, which in turn causes other issues, such as alcoholism and crime.
Sukhtogoo left the mountains in the far west in 1965, and he regrets it to this day. “Once you´ve sold your herd, there is no return. Hope dies in the city until only survival is left. People arrive full of dreams, but life turns them into a nightmare. You can’t blame them for drinking, hitting their wives, or stealing. Mongolians have always been free and can’t live behind fences. But we learn that now, when it’s too late already.”