Monday, March 12, 2012

Selling Sand For a Living

Sand is an ubiquitous and plentiful commodity throughout the world. But in some villages in Angola the sale of sand ensures a livelihood for many poor families.  The extraction and sale of sand along the river Cambogo in the Kwanza-Sul province, has begun to be a business option that will sustain them. 

The activity of small-scale sand extraction in bucket-sized measures, is carried out mainly by women who have no other means of employment and have a very low education.  The sand is normally sold to other Angolan entrepreneurs who used the sand to make blocks for building construction.

One Angolan mother, Susana António, has been selling sand for three years, but originally found that the activity required for work than what she imagined to do in one day's work.  But due to the various economic difficulties that she is facing, she does not measure the consequences when it comes to getting something for her family. 

Because of the river flow, there is not an abundance of sand along the river-edge.  Instead the women must dive to the bottom of the river and collect the sand from the river bottom all the while facing the river current.  The conditions make these 'sand-gathers' vulnerable to accidents. 

One sand seller said the price of each lot of sand varies from three thousand to four thousand kwanza (USD$31 to USD$42), depending on size of the sand pile that make. Another seller, Julia Andrew, who is six years practicing this activity, the Jornal de Angola said that the money they earn does not solve all your problems, but it helps in feeding and clothing their children. 

For their effort, the women demonstrate their capacity and ability as mother and family leader since they do not have the support of other family members.   The women recognize that this job requires great sacrifice, but the need to ensure the sustenance of the children speaks louder than any sacrifice. (Journal de Angola)

1 comment:

Sowbhagya G said...

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