Kosoroi a small town in Tapac sub county in Moroto district is now a well-known limestone deposit for Tororo cement one of the leading cement manufacturers in the East African region. Kosoroi is also a home to fearless, powerful women in mining and Alice Loumo is no stranger to mining in her village. On the day we arrive to Kosoroi at the mining site, the sun is blazing hot but the miners are relentless toiling for their daily income. Women miners are breaking big stones to fill the waiting Tororo cement trucks. In a distance I spot a small medium height woman hitting the rocks with all the strength in her and I slowly approach her. She immediately welcomes me and the rest of the ECO team and we exchange pleasantries. I immediately ask her if I can hold the jack hammer and try to break the rocks too but the heaviness of the tool itself and the strength needed to break the rocks is too consuming, I give up without another try.
I ask Alice that how she manages this kind of heavy work and she confidently replies “nowadays its better because we have better equipment thanks to the KWIMD project that supported us with strong mining tools.These tools are very helpful in breaking big stones.Again in the past I used to borrow tools from my fellow miners but now I have my own and this has increased my profits since I can break many stones in a day and sell them to Tororo cement”.
“With the increased prices for these trucks that ferry limestone we are in a better position to benefit.A small truck used to cost as low as 120000 but now its at 160000 and a big one shifted from 160000 to 210000”.Alice pointing to the big truck that was previously 160000 bt is now at 210000 shs.This has enabled her increase her incomes.
Alice further tells me that she’s also a member of the Lomuriaeperit group one of the 68 groups formalized under the KWIMD project and this has enabled her save her earnings and get profit.Alice goes on to passionately emphasize why she loves mining “mining has increased my power to make decisions in my home, .since I started earning money from the mine my husband respects me,he lets me make decisions for the family and myself. I have been able to use these earnings to contribute to the construction of our house, take my children to school, engage in alternative sources of income through small business enterprise, goat rearing and poultry”
As I leave Alice’s home she’s all smiles and quickly assures me that she needs to go back her workplace, the mine-her livelihood.
Alice’s story is a perfect example of how mining can benefit women in Kosoroi. She’s indeed a champion of women in the mineral sector.