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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 March 2006, 13:33 GMT
Surviving on a low income: Zimbabwe
Zimbabwean Pedzi, 29, tells the BBC News website how he manages to get by working as a payments officer in the country's eastern city of Mutare.

Loaf of bread in a shopping trolley in a Zimbabwean supermarket
This picture was taken in December 2004 when a loaf cost Z$3,500 - it's now Z$65,000

I skip breakfast because I cannot afford to eat three meals a day.

My lunch of stew with sadza [Zimbabwe's staple diet made from maize meal] is subsidised by the company I work for.

Over weekends I will eat sadza and vegetables or some Kapenta fish or two eggs which costs me about 50,000 Zimbabwean dollars (24 cents).

I am studying for my final diploma in credit management.

I cannot afford the classes though and so I just have to get hold of the reading material and then register for the examinations.

Tomatoes for sale in Zimbabwe
A loaf of bread = 31c
Packet of sugar = 67c
Bottle of Coca Cola = 19c

This year they cost Z$4m.

Regarding my responsibilities towards my family, and there are many people at my rural home, I give them what I can and bring what I can when I visit.

And for the rest of their needs they make a subsistence living off the land.

So in short you can see that there is no money to spare.

Most of my income goes on basic foodstuffs and things like meat are a luxury - I cannot budget for it because I can rarely afford it.

The Zimbabwean government currently measures the Zimbabwean dollar at 99,210.00 to US$1, however the black market in the country trades at 210,000.00. To give a true comparison of costs the latter exchange rate has been used.

Per month Zimbabwe $ US $
Pay 7,296,667 35
Study fees -333,333 -2
Rent -2,000,000 -10
Dependents -3,000,000 -14
Electricity -200,000 -1
Water -150,000 -1
Transport -960,000 -5
Food -4,150,000 -20
Phone -500,000 -2

Click on the links on the map below to read the other stories.

Audu - Lagos, NigeriaAudu -Lagos, NigeriaAudu - Lagos, NigeriaLily - Nairobi, KenyaLily - Nairobi, KenyaLily - Nairobi, KenyaPedzi - Mutare, ZimbabwePedzi - Mutare, ZimbabwePedzi - Mutare, ZimbabweAristides - Luanda, AngolaAristides - Luanda, AngolaAristides - Luanda, Angola


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