Boké: focus on the daily life of the women of Tchouaye who live from the extraction and sale of gravel

Tchouaye is a village in the rural commune of Tanènè, in the prefecture of Boké. In this locality, women have as an income-generating activity, the artisanal extraction of gravel in the various quarries of the locality. This activity, usually reserved for men, is increasingly practiced by women.

On a vast domain of several hectares, many women and children work to extract gravel. Every day from the early hours of the morning, these mothers with shovels, picks and hammers, storm the quarry to earn their daily living.

Aïssatou Mané, in her sixties, does this "hard work": "My children and I have been doing this for several years. When we come in the morning, it is to stay until 5 pm and sometimes we have nothing to eat," she explained.

These women work with their bare hands without any means of protection. But they have no choice but to do this difficult work. Because, they say, it is the only way to earn their living.

Five hundred Guinean francs (500 GNF) of African porridge to last from morning to night

"In the morning, if you have 500 francs, you buy porridge for your child to last until the evening. We practically live from day to day. We don't earn much but thank God! Because when your child gets sick, with your savings you can at least do something. Our husbands do not work," said Mariama Camara, a mother who has worked in this quarry for several years.

The production line is made up of a group of 60 women divided into several teams of 8 people. To obtain a truck load of gravel, it is necessary to dig and sift for almost a week: "We work in a group of 60 women, eight of whom are in each team. To get a load, we need at least 7 days of activity", explains Mariama Camara.

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