A life in the day of .... A pit latrine digger

Muvunyi Harerimana is a specialist in pit latrine digging. He has been doing this job for over five years and says it has built him a reputation that has earned him at least a name.
Muvunyi Harerimana.
Muvunyi Harerimana.

Muvunyi Harerimana is a specialist in pit latrine digging. He has been doing this job for over five years and says it has built him a reputation that has earned him at least a name.

My work is so risky but it pays

I wake up at around 5am every day. The first thing I do before any other thing is to check if I am in good condition for work. If feeling tired, in most cases I decline going to work.

But normally after waking up I immediately head to the bathroom for a shower. After the shower, I put on clothes and pray to God to see me through the day. It’s as if you are burying yourself every day.

At 5.30 I am already at work, thinking of how best I will dig the pit to save my life and to keep my reputation. I start to dig. It’s so technical and I have to be careful every inch I make downwards.

My counterpart looks on until I tell him to do a certain thing. At a certain length I only see darkness in the pit that I have dug. But I go on digging, leaving openings in the sides of the pit to later help me climb up when I have finished digging.

You can’t dig when you are hungry. I go to eat my breakfast at 9am. It only takes me 30 minutes and at 9.30, I am back in the pit. The biggest challenge is that there is no one to talk to. You are silently deep down in the earth and wondering if the whole earth poured on you.

I eat my lunch at 1pm in any nearby hotel. I always give myself a two hour lunch break before I go back in the ditch. At 3pm I am back in the ditch. I dig for another two hours and end my work at 5. I am already tired.

I head home for a shower and later go to the trading centre to have fun with friends and to find out what is going on around the world. I head back home at around 10pm to eat my supper.

Friends that I stay with always cook food for the night. At 10.30 I am already in bed waiting for the next day.   

Ends

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