Former hotel employees resort to stone crushing to earn a living

Following the institution of a national lockdown by President Museveni in response to the novel Coronavirus pandemic, several young people in Moroto district found themselves out of work as their employers sought to scale down on staff.

In a bid to earn a living during these hard times, many of these youths have resorted to the arduous activity of stone crushing, the products of which they later sell to cement companies that buy their raw material from Moroto.

Sarah Nangiro, an employee of City Friend hotel in Moroto turned stone crusher told theCooperator that although they are getting some money from breaking and selling stones such as marble and limestone to the cement factories, the work is extremely difficult.

“At the hotel we were assured of breakfast, lunch and sometimes supper on top of earning our monthly salaries, but since they told us to stop, life became hard. We pray that the disease stops so that we can resume our work,” she said.

She added that, when they have a little money, they hire some village youths more experienced at this task, to break the stones for them.

Last resort

John Lokol, who earned Shs 200,000 a month working with Leslona Hotel in Moroto before the lockdown, said breaking stones for sale was the only employment option left for them if they were to avoid getting involved in criminal activities.

“As you know that the idle mind is evil, if we were to remain sitting without doing some work, honestly some of us would have been tempted to do funny things against the law for survival,” he said.

Lokol said since he started breaking stones he has sold about three trips for which he is awaiting payment in two weeks’ time.

According to Lokol, a full tipper lorry of 30 tonnes fetches between Shs 150,000 and Shs 200,000, but is much more labour intensive compared to working in the hotel.

“The funny part of this work is that your stones are taken on credit and the payment comes later so by that while you’re waiting to be paid you have nothing to eat,” he said.

Christine Atimongo another girl who was employed by Sunset guest house prayed that their employers take them back after the Covid-19-related lockdown is lifted.

“I am only praying that when the country is re-opened, our bosses will allow us to continue with our work,” she said.

The post Former hotel employees resort to stone crushing to earn a living appeared first on The Cooperator News.

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