Dei Dei, is a popular town in Kubwa, Abuja. It is home to an international building materials market. In addition, Dei Dei hosts a cow market with abattoirs.
To the uninterested, that’s all there is to Dei Dei, but to the curious there’s more than meets the eye.
On a Saturday, August 4, 2018, to be precise, while waiting with friends to have our cow slaughtered, the adventurer in me took over.
Armed with my camera and a desire to know more, I went exploring and I was not disappointed. While roaming the market, I met and made friends with some brothers from the North who really love what they do, injurious though it may be. And what is that? “Blood Meat/Milk.”
Not many people have heard about “Blood Meat/Milk.” Well I heard about it for the first time that day. It is made out of blood from cow and goat. These my new friends have a perfect example of integration in business. They co-locate with the butchers/abattoir so the waste from the butchers which is their main raw material is effectively utilized.
Their raw material, which is blood waste from the slaughtered animals is extensively heated up and dried. The finished product is then sold to fish farmers who use them as feed for their fish.
The guys were very friendly and fun to be with and so we got talking. Though they would not give me their names, they reluctantly allowed me to take some pictures.
Interestingly, some of them spoke very good English and confessed that they had lived in the East and South South, Bayelsa to be precise, for a long time doing business before the down turn in the economy chased them closer home.
They are happy doing what they do. It also brings in money to keep body and soul together. The down turn, however, is the constant exposure to soot coming from the fire used to heat up and dry the blood.
They do this day in day out and so are exposed to serious health challenges. The level of soot inhaled by these men and the damage it can cause to their internal organs cannot be overemphasised. They take residence in a small thatch house. That is where they live.
The implication is that they live and work with the soot all around them. While they may not have a choice, the danger is that they also may not realise the full impact of spending all their time in that environment.
They really deserve better. There must be a way to assist these my friends. The government or individuals who can help should find a way of assisting them.