Child scrap collectors: Special feature

Posted on April 25, 2012

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According to the observation carried out in Acholi Quarter by the Young Journalist Club group, based at the Chrysalis Centre, there is an increase in the number of children collecting scrap.  So, many kids are joining groups of scrap collectors and many more adults are buying scrap, sometimes exploiting kids by paying almost nothing for what they have collected.

1kg of scrap will fetch 500 shillings normally, but certain things can fetch more.  For example 1kg of wire can sell for as much as 8,000 shillings.

Also, aluminium (drinks cans) can be sold for 6,000 shillings per kilo, but this is hard to find and some kids don’t know it is worth more.

But why do kids collect scrap?  Alfred Ochaka from the Chrysalis Centre says “I stopped me and my brother collecting scrap in 2008, when my father told me it was dangerous.  He said sometimes there were explosive things in the rubbish and also that it can carry disease.”

“I started collecting before that because I saw my friends earning money and sometimes I needed money for school books or other requirements, or even clothes and food.”

“My friends still collect, but I think that they should stop, because every day they take risks with their life.”

“Others don’t go to school and some even steal things which are not scrap to sell.”

Scrap – is it a good business to help survive or should children keep well away from it?  Tell us what you think!

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Posted in: Economy, Health