Brick Workers
Project info

In many third world countries hand-making bricks is a common job. Millions of houses are built using this kind of bricks made of mud.
In Voi, half way between Mombasa and Nairobi (Kenya), over the years the brick-workers have changed the bed of the Voi river for many kilometers by digging the bank to collect the necessary soil. Here any kind of people are employed, including young children who are forced to leave the school to help the family. These workers carry out back-breaking and exhausting labour in the most perilous conditions without any safety equipment.

Each worker works in a fixed plot of land, whose license is issued by the local government, and can be inherited from the family. The “richest” owners, whose plot are big enough to needs several people to be fully exploited, employ external workers which are paid according to the number of bricks produced. In a day a good worker can produce up to 500 bricks, but the average production is around 300. The pay varies between 4-6 Kenyan Shilling (about 0,03 - 0,05€) for each brick, which is sold to the public at the price of 9-12 Kenyan Shilling.

This is an hard work, prerogative of the poorest part of the population, carried out by men, women and children from dusk to dawn, which means from 6 a.m to 6 p.m. 12 hours under the Kenyan burning sun, with only few tools to help out: a mattock, a wooden mould, a plastic water tank and the hands. No task is automated, everything is done by hand.