Women in the Western Area Rural District along the Freetown Peninsula are becoming too obvious and facing hell in stone mining for daily survival.
By Isaac Kamara
A survey undertaken by this medium reveals unlike in previous years when women are sparse in stone mining, many now, because of lack, are being forced to take on the hard laborious trade much to their peril.
A woman at Bonga Wharf community that identified herself as Adama Fullah said she joined in the trade two years ago.
“I’m a widow with three children, the brother of my late husband who has been helping me is now exhausted due to the high cost of living,” she said, stating that had she engaged in the trade, her children would have, probably, starved to death.
Adama lamented how hard and tedious the work is and could not as men do it because as a woman, she lacks the strength.
“It takes a lot of effort and struggle to get a 50kg bag of broken stones that I would sell every three days to keep my home going,” she lamented.
The Chairman of Bonga Wharf stone miners, Abdul Scott, said that the rate at which women are infiltrating the trade is unimaginable and very worrying.
“They are unable to do the hardest work but they keep coming in to avoid being starved of food and some other home needs,” he averred, adding that most times the men would break the bigger stones and sell to them, which they inturn break into smaller pieces of granite for onward sales with minimal profit.
Abdul said stone mining doesn’t befit women, noting how even men who engage in the work for a long period of years most times end up suffering from many ailments, including arthritis.
“So it is pathetic to see women coming into such difficult trade,” he stated.
Another location at Yams Farm community called Upper New York is also another stone mining point with a lot of women led by a chairlady, Marie Kaisamba, who said they have formed themselves into groups so that the work wouldn’t be tedious.