Mbale council frustrated his occupation when they confiscated his merchandise twice and took him along the third time.
By Arajabu Wampula
At a time Busoga sub region is being ranked by Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) as the poorest region in the country in the latest 2019/2020 report, Mbale residents are juggling to keep away the reputation.
Taking the fact that Mbale City has more vast land around, people have embraced the brick making business to improve their standards of living.
42 years old Abdul Shikambo aka “Sunday” of Kanikwa village in Mbale city is a husband to two wives and a father of eight children. Abdul manages to cater for his family with money got from brick laying.
However, four years ago, Abdul and his family were surviving on hawking women’s shoes in Mbale town near a building called foods.
Mbale council frustrated his occupation when they confiscated his merchandise twice and took him along the third time. Abdul narrates that the third time, council took him along and he was imprisoned for two years.
“I was released in 2016 and had to start from zero. I joined brick laying business because I wanted to get capital so that I set up my previous business. I later realized brick laying is more paying than the previous job.” He said
In the beginning, Abdul rented land but as a laborer. The land owner granted him access to make the bricks and also decided on the number of bricks to be made. After the first contract expired, he started renting the land at shs.100000.
Abdul testifies that ever since he focused on brick making, his life has changed in a way he had never imagined since it does not require any skill from whoever wishes to start it.
“A dry brick costs 50/= while a burnt one costs 180/=. My earning from the job has attracted many people to join the business. Being a city, most jobless people are employed getting shillings 20 per brick made and this makes them to make about 500 bricks a day where one goes home with about 10000 shillings in pocket.” He proudly says
He however says there are no permanent customers but rather those who are in need of bricks are ready to build approach him and buy bricks to complete their tasks.
Despite being tagged as an occupation for men, Jamirah Nafuna has three years experience in the business. After divorcing with her husband, Nafuna went into another relationship but that did not stop her from being a responsible mother for the children she had in her previous marriage.
”After divorcing my first husband, I went into another marriage with my three children and the elder is in the University, the second in senior two and the third in P7. I pay all their fees from money I earn from brick laying business.” Jamirah revealed.
She further reveals that challenges of heavy rains and sometimes bricks half bake leading to serious loses.