13.09.2020 COVID-19: Ugandans' Children, Single Mothers Struggle for Survival
With Uganda's population increasing, demand for accommodation and infrastructure is also on the rise. Construction companies often take advantage of cheap materials, like the stone produced by these workers. But crushing stones by hand is causing serious health concerns among workers as accidents and injuries are very common here. Many has been working here since 2008. They say without any protective gear, many of their colleagues have been hospitalised. "The biggest challenge with this quarrying is that it causes chest pain and other respiratory complications, due to the stone dust that we inhale," says most of the children. "We also get injuries from stone particles that enter our eyes and hitting our fingers with hammers." Local authorities say there's little they can do to avert the danger. The quarries are often privately-owned with little or no regulation. "Our children are even going to be spoilt because each time they are at the stone quarry, though they are sustaining the jobs, but their knowledge is now down, so that needs to be uplifted again," says Mebrah Bamwena, a community women's leader. "Some days, we go back home with 3,000shs or 5,000shs (approx. $0.82 - $1.36 USD), depending on your energy," says Anek. "That money is barely enough to buy food and groceries, because most times the prices are too high. So, we are just surviving, living hand to mouth." Credit: QuickTake
Poverty deprives people of adequate education, health care and of life's most basic necessities- safe living conditions (including clean air and clean drinking water) and an adequate food supply. The developed (industrialized) countries today account for roughly 20 percent of the world's population but control about 80 percent of the world's wealth.
Poverty and pollution seem to operate in a vicious cycle that, so far, has been hard to break. Even in the developed nations, the gap between the rich and the poor is evident in their respective social and environmental conditions.