THE NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
ISSN: 0331-4111 e-ISSN: 2736-075X
Volume 19, No. 2, November 2021
COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown: Livelihood Struggles and Coping Experiences of Precarious Migrant Construction and Transport Workers in Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria
1Nkemdili Au. Nnonyelu
1Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria
COVID-19 Pandemic has affected different categories of workers in diverse ways. The paper seeks to interrogate the livelihood challenges of those in precarious employment with a focus on migrant construction and transport workers in Awka during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. The paper explores the coping strategies adopted by these urban poor in the face of the severe shutdown and abrupt termination of their marginal means of livelihood by the State and National governments. The paper also sought to find out the forms of assistance, or palliatives, if any from governmental, non-governmental organizations, corporate bodies and individuals. The paper is an indepth study of select construction and transport workers who are not indigenes of Anambra State, using In-depth Interview Method and Focus Group Discussion. The study revealed, that trapped in precariousness, the daily paid workers in the construction and transport sub sectors of the informal economy faced double jeopardy, not only in terms of the starvation earnings that are irregular, and uncertain, but in its total stoppage, with no safety nets, nor savings to fall back on. It also provides insights into the nature of the relationship that these masons, bricklayers and transport operators have with their ad hoc employers and the State.
Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, precarious employment, livelihood struggles, informal sector, social networks