Why the waste sweepers are so important / Pourquoi les balayeuses sont si importantes

Conakry is known as a city full of waste and contaminated. The population is used to throwing waste everywhere: in the street, in the sea, even in the yards… It is because there aren’t any dumps: the population has seemingly learnt not to care because there’s nowhere to throw the waste anyway. But the government, for the health of the city, is recruiting people (often women who don’t have any work and with no other option) to pick up garbage or sweep the waste in some places…

Aminata, a 35 years old woman is one of them. She accepted to do that for 200,000 GNF (about 18€) each month to feed her 2 little daughters. Her husband is working as a car driver but his salary is not enough to feed the 4 members of the family.

Every morning, at 7 AM, she goes out to the street with her broom, sweeping the street and collecting the waste in a bag that she will give to a truck that passes twice a week. She does that for 3 hours, until 10 AM, and then she goes to her house and prepares food for her little family.

Woman sweeper in the streets of Conakry / Balayeuse dans les rues de Conakry
Woman sweeper in the streets of Conakry / Balayeuse dans les rues de Conakry (copyright: T. Réto)

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