Collecting And Crushing Stones To Survive

“It is the hard life in South Sudan that has forced me to risk my life and choose this tedious job of collecting and crushing stones every day under the scorching sun along the road at Marol market to earn at least a living since 2014 after the crisis.”

Collecting And Crushing Stones To Survive
Mary Agok crushing stones under a tree at Marol market, Bor [Photo by Juuk Mading]

By Juuk Othana Mading

BOR, 15th Match 2016 [Gurtong] – As South Sudan faces serve economic and political crisis across the country, many have been forced to turn to odd jobs in order to survive.

Mary Agok, a resident of Bor County in Jonglei State in an interview with Gurtong on Tuesday said that she collects stones and crushes them for sale in order to raise money to feed her children and afford some school fees.

Agok said that there is severe hunger in the region and no help has been accorded to them by government.

“And as a result, we are totally suffering now; we are facing serve hunger and we don’t have shelter as our homes were burnt down to ashes. Now we go out to collect these stones and crush them as you have seen.”

“We carry them on the head and on our shoulders from a far distance”, she added.

“There is no other way of survival out in this town. We also lack many home utensils like sauce pans, plates and others. We as well lack temporary shelters to cover ourselves as our houses were burnt down. We are vulnerable people as we don’t have any support from anyone”, she noted.

At her age Agok says she may not be able to do what she does for a long time as she is becoming weak by the day.

“If I commit myself and manage to crush some stones until I fill a few bags with the stones, I can get some money which can be able to pay school fees for my children and their feeding at home. But I am becoming weak now as you have seen and I am not sure whether I will manage again to crush many stones as I did last year”, she lamented.

She is appealing to the government for help so that her children will be able to complete school without interruptions.

“I have nowhere to get food. I can stay like this if I fail to get market. I have a lot of wounds and internal injuries in my body; on my head, hands, chest and shoulder only because of this tedious work”, she said.

Her hope is in her children. She says that if they manage to complete school they will be able to assist her. But for now she hopes that help will avail itself.
 

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