The Economic Benefits of Quarry Stone Mining Activities to Women from Kwa V, Kirinyaga County, Kenya
This study sought to investigate the economic benefits that women derive from the small-scale quarry stone mine at Kwa V, Kirinyaga County. The research used a mixed-methods approach which both qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analysed. Data collection was carried out from a survey of 100 informal female quarry workers. Data from open-ended questions were analysed using content analysis to identify emerging themes. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Results showed evident variation in the number of days women work at the stone quarrying between rain and dry seasons. There was evident variability in the income women derive from quarrying between seasons. The activities women engage in the quarrying ranged from blasting stones to crushing stones to ballast. Income derived from informal quarrying was invested in various ways, namely, building a financial base through participation in women’s chamas, table banking, investing towards access to lease land for cultivation to diversify income assets, purchasing physical assets, investing in human capital, for instance, education of children, to meeting basic day-to-day needs. This study's findings have important implications to public health interventions required to support informal female quarry workers, particularly given that most of these lack access to quality health care to mitigate health risks associated with stone quarrying.