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Meet Sierra Leone’s Essential Workers: The Labourer

by Alhassan Lamin
345 views

Work is tough for me during this pandemic. Before COVID-19, I used to load sand on as many as nine trucks a day. I could earn as much as SLL 120,000 per day. But now the demand for sand has gone down. Only about four vehicles come here now if I’m lucky. It means that I only earn SLL 40,000 here now. The sand comes from the other side of the river. The sand is filled on to the canoes and brought over here. The boats used to come down two times a day, to meet the demand, but they even shut down. We get one boat a day. I have a 10-year-old son; he is in class 4.

We all live together with his mom. She sells goods at home. While they stay at home, I come to work every day at Murray Town to provide for them. The most significant change right now is what we can afford to eat. Before, we cooked rice every day. Since the pandemic, we cook rice twice a week; the other days, we soak gari (cassava grains) and manage that with anything else. My son needs lessons too. Since school has closed, I can’t just let him stay at home doing nothing. It costs me SLL 150,000 to pay for his lesson fees every month.

Credit: Essential Stories/OSIWA

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