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Economic Crisis: Ordinary Zimbabweans Living on $1 a Day

As the country’s economy continues to sink deeper, ordinary people in high-density suburbs have turned to chicken offal for relish and trad...

As the country’s economy continues to sink deeper, ordinary people in high-density suburbs have turned to chicken offal for relish and trading these has become brisk business.

A recent visit to Secondary Overspill in Epworth showed that a family of six people survives on less than a dollar a day, far below Zimbabwe’s estimated poverty datum line of $495 a month.

While the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) says an average person in Zimbabwe will be living on $1,01 per day by August 2016, Epworth families are already surviving on less than a dollar a day. 
At Least 2 000 Vendors are Graduates 

Here, the majority of people have turned to chicken heads for meat and these sell at $0,05 each, meaning a family of six can spent only $0,30 per day on relish.

The assortment of cheap relish includes chicken feet, skins and casings, and pork heads — neatly deboned with expert dexterity. As poverty takes its toll in high-density areas, the majority of families cannot afford beyond a single meal per day.

The origins of the chicken delicacies is not clear but those who are into this business told the WeekendPost that they source the meat from one of the country’s leading chicken breeders in the capital where between 300 and 1 000 chickens are lost daily due to a number of factors such as heat stroke. 

Other smaller chicken farmers across the Manyame River near St Mary’s, Chitungwiza are another source.

Chicken carcasses are “smuggled” from poultry farmers and find their way straight onto the black market where they sell fast. Consumers “prefer” the black market due to its affordability as compared to conventional butcheries. 

Though, ideally the carcasses should be incinerated on the farm, this is a less popular option since it is more costly.

“Some of the chickens die in their runs (coops) while others die on their way to slaughter rooms. But here we do not sell dead chickens to the public but only to those we have contracts with such as crocodile farmers,” said an official from one of the poultry farms in Harare.

Though the majority of vendors operating at the bustling shopping centres are aware of the dangers and legal implications associated with repackaging and reselling manufacturer’s goods without a reseller’s agreement. 

But they cannot relinquish the trade as prevailing economic situation in Zimbabwe does not allow them to do so. - Online Sources 

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