Scavenging Now An Alternative To Street Begging In Jigawa

Sadiq Iliyasu  
Updated September 4, 2018
An almajiri searching for valuables at a dump in Dutse, Jigawa


Hundreds of Almajiri in the Jigawa State capital, Dutse, have turned to scavenging in order to survive.

The Chairman of the Scrap Dealers Association in Dutse, Ibrahim Musa, said scavenging offered the young boys an alternative to begging for food in the street.

This, he explained, is because, with scavenging, they can earn between N200 and N300 which can help them survive the day without begging.

“I can say hundreds of almajiri are able to feed themselves as a result of this business. In fact, their teachers now come to us for discussion on when best should they let them out for scavenging,” Musa said.

“An almajiri that is able to earn up to N200 to N300, to him, it’s enough. That is because he can afford to buy food and detergent. And sometimes these boys earn up N400 and N500 a day”.

Musa Ahmad, whose parents sent him to Dutse as an Almajiri, explained his new routine.

“We sell the valuables we find in the dumps such as metal, aluminium, copper and others. Today, I was just able to find some metal that weighs 2.5kilos that I sold at N75. If I get the money, I buy detergent and food.”

For them, it is a full-time job. One has to start early in order to get more benefits out of the dumps as there are other competitors.

Ahmad’s earning for the day is N75, for the 2.5kilos of metal he was able to carry on his back. Although it was little, it was enough to put a smile on his face.

There are campaigns against manual scavenging and the participating of children in the process, the Almajiri in Dutse, considers it an alternative to begging and some sort of light at the end of the tunnel.