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Meet Sierra Leone’s Essential Workers: The Electrician

by Alhassan Lamin
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Before I became an electrician, I was a fisherman. I gave fishing up because it affected my family. I’ve been an electrician for 11 years now. Thanks to this, I have met different people, and my experience has broadened. I first heard of COVID-19 when it began taking lives in China.

Before it came to Sierra Leone, I was making good money. I had up to 5 sites, which I would work on in a month. Some days I had to switch my phone off because clients would call for work. There was a lot of demand for my services. On average, I earned 3 million leones, sometimes more. Now, many construction sites I was working on shut down because the owners preferred to save. So, I make a third of what I used to earn before.

I have three children and a wife at home. Previously, I could get credit for provisions and foodstuff, which I paid at the end of each month. But the shop owner discontinued the service. We still cook every day. I decided we must not stop cooking – if my family goes hungry for long, it will be a big shame.

Credit: Essential Stories/OSIWA

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