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Scavenging scrap metal helps Zimbabweans beat joblessness

Scavenging scrap metal helps Zimbabweans beat joblessness
Many people in Zimbabwe say scrap metal dealing helps them earn living and change lives from rags to riches

By Jeffrey Moyo

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AA) – Scavenging scrap metal is coming in handy for the number of Zimbabweans to earn living in the wake of economic meltdown and joblessness.

When Japhet Msitheli, 48, who worked in the state-owned Grain Marketing Board (GMB), was retrenched along with other 785 employees, he ran helter-skelter for over a decade to find a suitable job.

According to a 2019 report of the World Bank, due to poor economic performance, 5.5 million people in the southern African country have been pushed to extreme poverty. But thanks to venturing into the scrap metal business, Msitheli was saved from getting sucked into extreme poverty.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Msitheli said his life has improved since he has turned to scrap metal dealing and the job helps him feed his family. He begins his day early by collecting scrap metal and then selling to firms for recycling and making metal products.

“I tell you, through selling scrap metal, every month I am making approximately $450,” he said. This is almost $100 more than he was earning at the state-owned company a decade ago.

“I now feel sure I wasted time working previously, reporting to someone yet earning very little at the end of every month,” he added.

“Firms making products like metal pots, hoes and axes are my regular clients for over the years. They buy scrap metal from me which they melt for making their products for sale,” Msitheli said.

Others like Mevion Mhou, 60, living at Newlands Shopping Center in Harare, also said that dealing with scrap metal has brought money and livelihood as the economy of the country has shown a deep slump.

Mhou is using scrap metal to produce sculptures for commercial purposes.

“I have never been employed in my whole life and for 37 years I have always collected scrap metal for my artwork. I make metal sculptures and I’m earning a decent living,” he said.

Owning a home in Harare’s Warren Park high-density suburb, Mhou said he earns $700-$900 per month by selling metal sculptures.

Chinese scrap metal dealer Lin Yeng, 30, living in Norton town, west of Harare, said that he collects scrap and then sends it to his home country. Many people like Msitheli and Mhou spend hours at the dumping sites in towns and cities to collect pieces of scrap metal.

According to renewable energy advocates, scrap constitutes 50% of the raw material used for steel production in the world.

Environmentalists argue that when the steel industry was emerging as a pollutant as it requires coal to remove oxygen from iron ore, accounting for around 7% of all anthropogenic carbon emissions, recycling of used steel becomes ever-more important.

source: News Feed
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