Since COVID-19 began we haven’t sold a single block

Some brick sellers at the Keffi local government area of Nasarawa state have continued to narrate how COVID- 19 affected their business making them go through unbearable poverty and suffering.

Mr. Sunday Uja, a leader of the brick sellers while speaking to MAWA Foundation, explained that since the outbreak of COVID-19 they have not sold a single block while their suffering has increased beyond their capacity to manage.

Uja said many of their customers stopped buying blocks because they are no longer building houses as a result of the economic crisis they are going through because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Mike Ezenwa, one of the workers while narrating how he has been badly affected by the pandemic, said he canceled his marriage that was supposed to have been held on the 16th day of October 2020 because he had no money to fund the marriage, adding that he lost his job to COVID-19.

Mr. Ayuba Isa, another of the worker, told MAWA that two of his kids dropped out of school because he could not raise money to pay their fees.

He added that he was a driver to one of the construction companies and was sacked during the COVID-19 when the company downsized its staff as a result of the pandemic impact on its operation.

This is even as Isa told MAWA Foundation that despite pulling his kids off from school because he cannot pay their fees, he finds it very difficult to feed his family while disclosing that on many occasions he had refused to go home because he had no money to buy food for his family and cannot withstand the embarrassment from his children and wife.

Uja while lamenting the impact of COVID-19 on the local economy told MAWA officials that brick sellers are the most hit, pointing out that many have stopped building because they have been rendered poor by the pandemic.

He, however, said those who want to build have since suspended their project as a result of the high cost of building materials, particularly cement.

The brick sellers have since called on the government to assist them to survive the pandemic crisis while pointing out that many of them are dying of hunger and starvation since COVID-19 began.

workers at the block industry
workers at the block industry

This report is supported by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA)

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