The 2022 Satellite Home Survey (SHS) conducted by the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflect (JCTR) has estimated that most bread winners in Zambia have an average monthly income ranging between K1000 and K3000.
The average cost of living for a family of five across the 16 towns JCTR monitored in February 2023 stood at K6, 637.
The 2022 SHS report discovered a number of key issues, including a revelation of 64% of households being headed by men who earn less than K4000.
“Earlier today, we held an engagement with stakeholders during the launch of our SHS Report. JCTR is renowned for tracking the cost of living in Zambia. And one way of monitoring the cost of living has been through the Satellite Home Survey (SHS). This bi-annual report of the living conditions of high-density areas in Lusaka highlights the living conditions experienced by households,” JCTR wrote in a media statement.
“The 2022 SHS report revealed a number of key issues, including a revelation of 64% of households being headed by men, these heads (breadwinners) had an average monthly income ranging between K1, 000.00 and K3, 000.00,” the Catholic faith based organisation stated.
JCTR is expected to release more findings of the 2022 Satellite Home Survey (SHS).
Meanwhile, some Ndola residents say they are struggling to manage three meals a day due to the prevailing high cost of living.
The residents complained that the rising cost of living has forced them to buy pre-packed mealie meals in small plastics commonly known as Pamela.
They said most households in low income communities are failing to buy essential commodities, including mealie meals due to the current high prices of goods and services.
JCTR Executive Director Fr. Alex Muyebe recently lamented the prevailing high cost of living in the country.
Fr. Muyebe said the upward movement in the cost of living is attributed to increased prices in food items such as rice, kapenta, cassava flour and fruits.
Fr. Muyebe said the JCTR observed that during the month under review, the Energy Regulation Board pump price of petroleum products rose significantly while the local currency continued to depreciate against major currencies such as the dollar.
“Furthermore, the month of January saw an increase in mealie meal prices, which resulted in an increase in the prices of substitutes such as rice and cassava flour in the month of February.
It is worth noting that the prices of other fruits, such as mango, apple, orange, and guava (price based on the cheapest fruit in a given season), increased as mangoes went out of season.
JCTR remains concerned about the high cost of living. Women and girls continue to bear the brunt of the impact of rising cost of living. This becomes especially important as the JCTR prepares to join the rest of the world in commemorating International Women’s Day. JCTR recognises that women continue to play an important role in economic development. However, despite them comprising more than 50 percent of Zambia’s population, women and girls still lag behind their male counterparts in terms of economic, social and political participation,” Fr. Muyebe stated.
Fr. Muyebe bemoaned the impact of the high cost of living on women and the poverty situation in the country.
He urged the Government to address the cost-of-living head on by increasing the minimum wage and increasing social protection allocations.