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Brick Makers in Gulu City Count Losses over Heavy Rains

For the last one week, areas within Gulu City and other surrounding areas have been experiencing heavy rainfall hence destroying the already molded and stacked bricks as well as interrupting those who intended to venture into the business.
Some bricks destroyed by the heavy rainfall. Photo by Emmy Daniel Ojara

Audio 3

Brickmakers in Gulu City are counting losses due to the persistent heavy rainfalls in the area.   

Brick-making is a lucrative business and source of income among the youths and a section of women, it starts majorly at the onset of the dry season in the month of October until in late March when the area starts receiving rainfall.  

This year, many people ventured into the business by digging up the ground for making bricks while others had gone ahead to laying thousands of bricks at the beginning of October when the areas started experiencing sunshine.  

The dealers engage in molding bricks for construction and sale during the dry season.

However, many of the dealers who had already injected money and started the business have been puzzled and left incurring losses following a resurgence of heavy rainfall pounding the area for the last one month, they say this was the least expected.  

For the last one week, areas within Gulu City and other surrounding areas have been experiencing heavy rainfall hence destroying the already molded and stacked bricks as well as interrupting those who intended to venture into the business.  

Polycarp Ogenrwot, a student at Gulu Secondary School and resident of Pece Pawel in Pece-Laroo division has already molded 72,000 bricks but at least half of them were over the weekend destroyed by the heavy downpour.  

Ogenrwot says that he had already injected 180,000 Shillings into the business and was hoping to raise at least two million shillings which would cater for his school fees but all these have gone to waste.  

//Cue in: “peko ma an …   

Cue out: …omyero acok adwok”//       

Florence Amony, a mother of four children a resident of Pece Pawel Central in Laroo Pece division also early this month injected over 500,000 Shillings into the business. 

She had already molded 2,600 pieces of bricks but all of them were destroyed by the unexpected heavy rainfall last week.  

Amony is worried because she borrowed the money from a money lending institution.

//Cue in: “matafali obale ako …  

Cue out.”aloka loka piny’’//  

Walter Banya, another dealer who has been in the business for over ten years says he is puzzled by the persistent heavy rainfall being experienced yet it has not been the case before.  

Banya has equally lost more than 810,000 Shillings which he had used to pay his helpers, buy water, buy firewood to mold the more than 500,000 bricks only for them to be destroyed by the unexpected rainfall.  

Being under-educated, Banya says that he relies on information over the radio about weather and climate changes noting that he is not aware of any other source to get weather information.

//Cue in: “wagoyo matifali ento…   

Cue out…itiyo ki kema’’//   

A piece of brick in Gulu city costs 170,000 to 250,000 Shillings.  

Lillian Nkwenge, the Principal of Public Relations for the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) advised the brick makers to embrace the use of the Weather Information Dissemination System (WIDS).    

WIDS is an Application developed by UNMA in partnership with Makerere University to help ordinary users to monitor weather forecasts.