Compiled by Sylvester Munanjala Jr (Silverman Zambia) In Lusaka, Zambia
Justina Mwale, 24, Sales Officer,
Well, let me start by saying that I’m a 24 years old single parent raising a 3 year old baby boy. His father refused to take responsibility of the boy so my parents advised that I raise him on my own. I’m a Sales Lady both by occupation and profession inclusive (I did my course from Evelyn Hone College here in Lusaka) and I own my own grocery store. It’s nothing big, but at least it’s helping me survive.
For me to be able to save more money for my young boy, I need to minimize costs. But the truth is no matter how much I try to reduce my expenditure, I cannot live on one dollar a day simply because things are too expensive. I need to buy food, medicine as well as other small necessities which definitely add up to more than five dollars a day. So No, I can’t live on one dollar a day.
Paul Banda, 31, Office assistant
Iwe (you) Silverman, do you think it’s possible for me to live on one dollar per day sure? Vintu nivovuta muno mu Zambia elo unifunsa va. Life is difficult here in Zambia and you’re asking if I can live on one dollar per day?
No I can’t live on one dollar because I have to take kids to school, buy food & groceries at home and at the same time, take care of my own needs. Now can all that cost one dollar? I can’t my friend, I can’t. Do you have any other question?
Chisala Njobvu, 35, Motor Mechanic
Yes I can live on one dollar a day. I’ve been living like this for over 4 years and its working on well for me. I am a well qualified mechanic but I don’t have a permanent job, my projects are just on piece meal basis. So for me to stay alive, I reduce on luxury items such as Milk, jam, cars and a big house that costs a lot to pay rent. I just live a very modest and simple life with my wife and 2 kids. By living on one dollar a day, I mean spending it on daily needs such as food in my case works out fine. I have a small grocery store where I get relief from.
Voices from Nigeria
Compiled by Christina Adegbaju, Lagos, Nigeria
I think in Nigeria, it varies among some states within the federation. In Lagos, standards of living can never be compared to the one in Kogi so technically is not possible.
On the issue of trying to survive on $1 a day ( which is less N200), I feel the analysis cannot hold water here if we had to quantify the value of food that is eaten either once or twice a day. Remember most people living in the village eat 3 square meals a day. There are also some incidentaly costs peole incur on a daily basis that are not added to the $1 a day figure. For me living on less than $1 a day is impossible in Nigeria
It is very possible because once in my life, I lived like that. I survived on bread which I bought for N50, akara N10, and two sachets of pure water. That’s not even up to N100 which is less than $1. So I survived fine on less than a dollar a day, thank God for that. I can never forget my past life. The suffering I went through then gave me the drive I needed to fight hard to survive
Chris N Okafor
It is practically impossible to live on a dollar a day in many states in Nigeria. However, it is possible in a few states