By Richard Kadoko
Mangochi is rated as a district with the highest cost of living in the Center for Social Concern (CFSC) basic needs basket assessment for the month of March.
A household of six people needed 336, 263 kwacha (Approximately 460 US Dollars) to survive in the district in March.
That money could only buy basic food, essential non food items and paying for at least a two bedroom house.
The assessment conducted by CFSC’s research arm called Social Conditions Research Program says that household was also required to incur other expenses towards education especially on fees, school uniforms and books.
The Mangochi figure surpasses those of the country’s three major cities of Lilongwe, Blantyre, Mzuzu and Zomba by a margin of more than thirty percent.
In the Capital, Lilongwe, the cost of basic food and essential non food items alone was 290, 309 kwacha (397 US Dollars) for a household of six.
In Blantyre, Mzuzu and Zomba, the cost was at 303, 326, 253, 438 and 304, 696 kwacha respectively.
Karonga was at 248, 027 (339 US Dollars).
CFSC conducts these researches monthly to accord Malawian citizens the opportunity to appreciate the trends in the market economy and check their lifestyles and spending.
The findings reveal just how difficult it is to survive in one of the world’s poorest countries.
Unemployment rate is very high in Malawi.
The average monthly income for the country’s majority ordinary workers is about 60, 000 kwacha (approximately 80 US Dollars).
Salary increments rarely come by.
With this background, it is mind boggling to imagine how such people would provide for Malawian households most of which have between five to ten dependants because of the extended family culture.