Women takes stones crushing as means to survive

Women takes stones crushing as means to survive

Women takes stones crushing as means to survive

Women in Murambinda takes stone crushing serious as a means to earn a living in the drought season in the Buhera area of Manicaland province.

Due to the elnino induced drought women have brace up to take male dominated trade of crushing stones as a means of survival as it has become the survival of the fittest in the region due to the latter.

Majority of women who are  subsistence farmers have acknowledged that poverty was the push factor leading  them to take up the hard-labor job which seems to be on the prominent raise due to the demand.

An opportunity have risen due to the availability of vast quarry and granite rocks which are scattered all over the place from Betera, Hutye , Serima to Gwama area, this have created a source of income in the dry season.

The trade have proved to be very lucrative as many people have resorted to it as a cushioning against the severe drought.

With erratic food aide from donors such as World Vision and US-aide proved not be sufficient enough to the community.

Women have braced the challenge and entered the trade , due to the economic hardships and prolonged drought.

These concrete stones are charged per wheel barrow, cubic or per load depending with the quantity needed.

One cubic is paged at $35 usd which equates to 700 rands whilst one load is paged at $100 which equates to 2000 rands and house 3, 5 cubic.

On average women crushes half to one cubic per day using pound hummer and iron bars.

As they start by rolling big stones across the road then disintegration process begins , breaking them into fractions till they reach the preferred sizes .

In an interview with this press most of them have mentioned how are they surviving with the trade and realizing a decent profit from it despite encountering many challenges and some being fully aware of the healthy complications associated with this trade.

One Ruth Chinhema a mother of two said she have turned to the trade due to poverty and stone crushing is the only viable solution at the moment since they are on demand despite being hard-labor which requires a lot physique to crush big stones to small fractions.

Another lady Pamela Murefu who used to be a vendor said her day to day sales were declining due to the drought as the area economy is backed by agriculture leading to low sales and relatively little money circulation which forced her to be on a sabbatical and enter the zero capital trade of selling concrete stones.

She further elaborated how she has managed to survive these past months by joining venture with a group of friends and started to crush large volumes which were later sold to hardware and builders, supplying an average of 5 cubic per week.

A recently widowed Tendai Mataga who used to survive selling peanut butter said the current state of things have left her with no option but to brace up and fend for her  child by crushing stones as the peanut butter is now more of preference than a necessity  and peanuts prices have spiked due to the scarcity in the area .

Simuka mudzimai an organization which advocates for female well-being and rights representative Miss Gambiza said according to their statics many families are headed by single mothers in Murambinda and Buhera constituency at large which prompts them to take hard-labor jobs which have long term repercussions to their health and general well-being.

Back aches,breathe shortness, Chest pains and tuberculosis are the most common health complications associated with the trade, and these women are exposed due to poverty, she added.

As they is no business with its shortcomings, some women were complaining about how they  are usually defrauded  at the market place through misrepresentations , as it usually agreed by word of mouth and no proper units of measurement .

Many buyers end-up getting more concrete stones as they misjudge a cubic whilst paying less money.

Talent Mudziri highlighted how they usually prey victims to their male counter who are in the same trade who are in a habit of stealing processed stones for resale during the night.

As witnessed by this reporter, these women had no protective clothing, some were working barefooted whilst the majority had no respirators or hand gloves whilst conducting their duties with babies on site.

 Thus making them more exposed to work injuries and putting their lives in risk from granite and quarry dusty during the crushing process.

This calls for responsible authority to intervene in this situation by proffering viable solutions, be it empowerment, regulating the trade offering training and registering and regulation the trade or by offering teaching and guidelines as how to conduct the business safely as their health and well-being is on the line.

A research has proven that someone working in quarry mining life span on average is relatively small to someone working on a decent job.

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