Ayub Kawanguzi, a resident in the area who was found harvesting the groundnuts says that he works with his four children to collectively make big harvests on a daily basis and the farm owner pays him their joint average earning of 12,000 Shillings per day.
Parents in Nabukalu sub county, in Bugiri district, have
opted to engage their children, some as young as six, in child labor, as a means of earning school
Most of the pupils sighted on the groundnut gardens are enrolled
in universal primary education-UPE schools, where they are tasked to pay two
kilograms of maize and 2,000 Shillings per term.
Children between the ages of six and 17, who are often sent home
to collect school dues, are seen harvesting groundnuts on different
farms scattered across Nabukalu sub county.
Children are paid 500 Shillings after harvesting and sorting one basin of
groundnuts and those who fail to meet the average target, are given a cup of
porridge normally served on the farms.
Also, children assigned with packing and loading groundnuts
on waiting trucks are paid 2,000 Shillings each.
Asaph Mukisa, a primary five pupil at Nabukalu primary
school says that his parents are unable to cater for all their family needs
and he works on the groundnut farms to meet his school dues and other
“We are 11 children at home, which is already straining to our
family and I am not only here to raise school fees but also for the extra money to buy soap and others necessities at home,” he says.
Flavia Nabwiire, a primary four pupil at Nabuganga primary
school says that, after paying off her school fees, the extra money is used to
buy sanitary pads.
“My parents are not mindful about my education and I come
here to earn money for school fees, buy off a few scholastic materials and sanitary
pads,” she explains.
Ayub Kawanguzi, a
resident in the area who was found harvesting the groundnuts says that he works
with his four children to collectively make big harvests on a daily basis and
the farm owner pays him their joint average earning of 12,000 Shillings per
Kawanguzi observes that several other parents have teamed
with their children, so as to ably earn enough money to cater for both school
dues and other household needs, since some children opt for luxury expenditures
rather than prioritizing their family’s wellbeing.
//cue in: “embela ye’ne…//
Jessica Akiidi, a groundnut farm owner says that, children
are easy to supervise during the harvest season and some of the parents direct
her to directly pay school fees for their children, in exchange of the labor
extended to them.
//cue in: “abaana bayamba…//
Moses Mulamba, another farm owner says that they
require a force of many workers to harvest groundnuts from
a one acre piece of land and children are preferred for such tasks, since they devot
all their attention and time without complaining.
//cue in: “tulina okugatondola… //
Cue out…abantu ekikumi,”//
Meanwhile, the Bugiri district education officer, Henry
Kabuulo says that their efforts of fighting child labor are often frustrated
by parents, who deliberately force their children to carry out the role of
fending for their families.