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PHOTOS: Inside the world of local ‘bulletproof’ brickmakers in Abuja

PHOTOS: Inside the world of local ‘bulletproof’ brickmakers in Abuja
January 25
22:11 2021

BY AYODEJI OWOLABI

While some businesses across Nigeria are counting their losses due to the economic challenges resulting from the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, some are raking in profits. One of such thriving businesses is that of local brickmaking for construction of houses in Abuja.

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For Abdullahi Mohammad, an indigene of Kano state, life is simply what you make out of it. The father of three says he has found respite in making local bricks with his colleagues under the bridge along airport road, Gosa, Abuja. According to him, he has been able to cater for his numerous needs with proceeds from the business.

Explaining the process of production, Mohammed said while local bricks are relatively easy to make, they require some level of professionalism considering the peculiarities of the business.

“Making local bricks begins with burning of the soil by using tyres to soften the sand, after which digging of the soil would commence. After digging the soil, we apply water to soften the sand for easy making of the bricks, which usually takes hours,” he said.

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“Thereafter, we cover the wet soil with uprooted plants so that children around won’t tamper with it.”

According to him, one brick is sold for N10, and sometimes, they sell up to 300 bricks in a day.

Speaking on how profitable the business is, he said they make between N30,000 and N40,000 in a month, which is a huge amount for them considering their cheap lifestyle.

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“During the lockdown, our business wasn’t affected as people were still building houses since construction workers were among those allowed to work,” he explained. “The same sale we made before the advent of coronavirus is what we are still making now.”

He added that the local bricks are also called “block proofs”, because of their reported capacity to withstand bullet penetration.

Like Mohammad, Sunday Sandu, another Abuja resident, says he has also been able to provide for his family through local bricklaying, which he learnt at Igboho in Oyo state.

“With proceeds from this venture, I was able to send my four children to school. One of them is currently in technical school learning brickmaking too,” he said.

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Sandu said he remains happy and fulfilled doing the job, which he started in 2017. He also revealed that Yoruba people and low income earners constitute the bulk of their customer base.

Below are photos of a regular day in the life of local brickmakers.

Hoes used by the bricklayers

Abdullahi Mohammad

One of the brickmakers heads to the stream to get water

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Mohammad: We’re a family of three and this business has been our source of survival

Pouring water on sand before mixing

Mohammad getting set to mix sand and water

Mohammad mixing the sand, while two of his colleagues watch

Mohammad in action

Mohammad laying some bricks

Sandu: “With this business, I trained four of my children and some of them have already joined me.”

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1 Comment

  1. Tolu
    Tolu January 26, 18:00

    This is fantastic Deji.
    These guys are doing good work.
    Innovative if I do say so.

    Reply to this comment

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