I Used To Scavenge With My Children – An Old Woman Reveals

A middle-aged woman Identified as Yinusa was found in a dump site where she works daily to make a living by scavenging at Oto Ilogbo slum in Ebute metta, Lagos.

The woman had put on rain boots  and dressed casually as her work demands searching through thrashed contents and finding things that could be used by her family or sold in order to make money.

According to her, she has been scavenging for over twenty years in a bid to survive. She told revealed that she had seen tough times and the challenges that made her become a scavenger.

She stressed that the hardship she has been through pushed her into doing this job as she was a meat seller before. When she was no longer making profit from selling meat and was almost in debt, she had to quit. The strong woman also claimed she had her fair share of doing business but council representatives harassed traders so much that she lost interest in it.

When asked if her husband was in support of her job, Yinusa confessed that she had a hard time telling him. However, when he started questioning her early morning movement, she had to come out with the truth.

She revealed that the job she does is not something anyone would be proud of. Not everyone knows what she does for a living. Yinusa said that she is so discreet with it that only those she tells are in the know.

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She also revealed that she scavenged with her three children at some point. She said that her children stopped working with her after they gained admission into schools. She was proud to say that her children are in school and she does the scavenging work alone now.

Yinusa who spoke in Yoruba all through the when she was interviewed. She stated that the eldest of her children is a lady that is over thirty-five years old. The lady with the other children had tried to stop her from picking the floor but she did not pay any attention to them.

Yinusa picks nylon, bottles, empty plastic bottles, used clothes, broken containers and so on from dump sites. She sorts them and waits for those who need them to come and buy them off her. She revealed that it sometimes takes up to a year or two before she makes money from picking things. On a daily basis, she said she makes between five hundred naira and one thousand naira. As at the time the interview was conducted, she had not made anything and was getting ready to close for the day.

Yinusa lives at Alaba in Ajegunle area; she treks all the way from her house to the slum where she scavenges in Ebute metta.

The hardworking woman reveals that she picks items that are useful as she walks. She also showed the pieces of yam she picked. She had gathered the small pieces together and explained that she will make yam flour from them as soon as she peels them.

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