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JESUIT CENTRE FOR THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION

Social Conditions Research Project

The JCTR Basic Needs Basket:


A Comprehensive Overview

2006 edition

JESUIT CENTRE FOR THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION


"Promoting Faith and Justice"
P.O. Box 37774
10101 Lusaka, Zambia
tel: 260-1-290410 / fax: 260-1-290759
e-mail: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm / internet: www.jctr.org.zm
Contents

1.0 Introduction 1
1.1 The JCTR Basket: History in the Numbers 1
1.2 The JCTR Mission Statement 9
1.3 The Basic Needs Basket Purpose Statement 9
1.4 Clarifications About the Basic Needs Basket 10
2.0 JCTR Basket Scope and Methodology 11
2.1 The Lusaka Food Basket (1991-2001) 12
2.2 The Basic Needs Basket (2002-Present) 13
2.2.1 Scope of the Lusaka BNB 18
2.2.2 Scope of the Expanded Urban BNB 18
2.3 Future Rural Basket 20
3.0 Basic Needs Basket Advocacy 21
3.1 Advocacy Strategy 21
3.2 Strategic Stakeholders 22

Appendix A: Press Releases


• Summary of Each Press Release
• Press Releases from 1999 to 2005

Appendix B: Demonstration of Methodology


• Guidelines for Field Researchers
• Example Calculations from January 2006
• Example Basic Needs Baskets from January 2006

Appendix C: Data and Analysis


• 1991-2001 Lusaka Food Basket Data and Graphs
• 1997-2005 Lusaka Food Basket Data and Analysis
• 2002-2005 Lusaka Basic Needs Basket Data and Analysis
• 2005 Lusaka Basic Needs Basket Data and Analysis
• 2005 Comparison of Expanded Urban Basic Needs Baskets
• 2005 Livingstone Basic Needs Basket Data and Graphs
• 2005 Ndola Basic Needs Basket Data and Graphs
• 2005 Kitwe Basic Needs Basket Data and Graphs
• 2005 Luanshya Basic Needs Basket Data and Graphs
• 2005 Kabwe Basic Needs Basket Data and Graphs
1.0 Introduction

First and foremost, the JCTR asks that you think of the following pages as the instruction
manual for the Basic Needs Basket (BNB). In other words, the intention of this
Comprehensive Overview is both to compel and empower you to go out and effectively use
the BNB for its intended purpose: to promote a more just and human Zambia. In Section
One you will be told the story of the JCTR Basket as it slowly evolved from the Lusaka Food
Basket into its current form of the Basic Needs Basket. Also, subsequent paragraphs in the
first section explore in more depth the mission of the JCTR, the purpose of the Basic Needs
Basket and important clarifications about the BNB exercise. Section Two attempts to
demystify the methodology and scope of the JCTR Basket in all of its past, present and
future formats and locations across Zambia. Finally, Section Three unpacks the advocacy
strategy of the BNB and suggests its usefulness to the numerous strategic stakeholders.

Attached to this instruction manual for the Basic Needs Basket, located in Appendix C, you
will find the “product” offered by the JCTR: data and graphs for the Lusaka Food Basket from
1991 to 2001, data and graphs for the Lusaka Basic Needs Basket from 2002 to 2005, data
and analysis from 2005 for the Lusaka, Livingstone, Ndola, Kitwe, Luanshya and Kabwe
Basic Needs Baskets, and an assortment of other tables and graphs. Once again, the
intention of this manual is to clarify the purpose, limitations, methodology and advocacy
strategy of the BNB to encourage appropriate and effective usage of the Basic Needs Basket
monthly data and historical statistics. And please remember, the only purpose of reading an
instruction manual is to learn how to use a product: we implore that you utilise the BNB in
any imaginable way so long as it is in promotion of a more just and equitable world!

1.1 The JCTR Basket: History in the Numbers

Since the early 1990s the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) has been keenly
monitoring the rising cost of living in Lusaka through a simple monthly price survey of a
“basket” of essential food and non-food items. Indeed, it is through the popularity of this
basket survey that many in Zambia have come to know of the work of the JCTR and its
struggle to achieve its mission: a society where faith promotes justice for all, in all spheres of
life, especially for the poor.

The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection was founded in 1988 in order to examine the
Zambian reality from a theological perspective and undertake appropriate research and
action in the spirit of a faith that seeks justice. One of the initial projects of the JCTR was the
Economic and Social Development Project that worked “to promote economic and social
justice through exposing the plight of the poor.” Furthermore, “the aim of the project (was) to
gather facts through research and to use those facts to advocate for change in policies
and/or practices that inhibit attainment of sustainable livelihoods.”

The Foundation of the JCTR Food Basket

In the spirit of exposing the plight of the poor and with the realisation that the average person
was struggling to afford even the most basic of monthly commodities, the Economic and
Social Development Project conducted its very first “Food Basket” survey in March of 1991.
At this time, within both Livingstone and the Copperbelt, the Catholic Commission for Justice
and Peace (CCJP) was raising concern about the low wages that the Catholic Church was
paying to its employees. The JCTR took up the challenge of assessing a basic cost of living
and “living wage” through this initial survey in 1991. It was determined that a family of six
living in Lusaka at that time needed only 6,375 Kwacha (K) to afford a month-long supply of

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basic items including mealie-meal, meat, vegetables, bread, charcoal and soap. It was not
so long ago that you could pay for a loaf of bread with the loose Ngwee in your pocket!

The Lusaka Food Basket survey was conducted just one more time in 1991 and seemingly
forgotten amidst the flurry of activity surrounding the first years of Fredrick Chiluba’s
presidency. It was the year 1992 that Zambia began embracing aggressive liberalisation of
the economy under the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) prescribed by the
International Monetary Fund. The reforms included reduction in protective tariffs (e.g.
textiles, batteries), removal of subsidies of basic goods (e.g. agricultural inputs, mealie-
meal), and abolishment of price and exchange rate controls.

The effects of liberalisation were harsh and instant as evidenced through the rapid
depreciation of the Kwacha and skyrocketing inflation levels in the country. To help evaluate
how the SAP was affecting the standards of living of ordinary Zambians, the JCTR returned
to its Food Basket survey again in 1993 to discover that the basic commodity basket had
drastically jumped in cost to K31,075 by January and K49,360 by April of that year.

From a purely historical perspective, the JCTR Basket speaks to the dramatic story of how
living conditions have rapidly deteriorated in Zambia in relation to the deteriorating economic
situation. The regularly recorded statistics directly correspond with the defining events of the
past fourteen years, including the many economic shocks, the internal political changes, the
external wars, the successful and unsuccessful governmental policies, the collapse of
industries and banks, the varying quantity of rainfall, etc.

However, the hidden characters in this story told by numbers are the Zambian people who
have faced immeasurable hardships in response to the rising costs of living and
simultaneously declining opportunities to access decent employment, healthcare, education
and other social services. The freedom of people within a society to afford basic needs is
essential to the promotion of dignity within the human person. The JCTR Basket has been
used extensively in this dramatic period of Zambian history to expose how families are
struggling to afford human lives; more importantly, the JCTR Basket has been used
extensively to advocate for prudent socio-economic and political decisions and just
relationships between employers and employees in order to help create more human
conditions for the people of Zambia. It is in this way that the JCTR Basket transforms from a
pure statistical record of history to an active protagonist in the living drama.

The Food Basket survey was conducted four times in 1994 and another six times in 1995. In
May of 1995 the Economic and Social Development Project organised a team of University
of Zambia (UNZA) students to carry out basic interviews in the high-density compounds of
Lusaka to explore the perplexing question: “With food alone costing almost K150,000, how
are families making ends meet?” The article, appearing in the JCTR 2nd Quarter Bulletin of
1995, offers a glimpse of life on the ground both then and now.

For example, many families indicated that two meals a day of nshima (maize meal) and
relish (e.g. vegetables) is the standard when money is available, yet skipped meals are very
common. Also, many indicated that a “family of six” is misleading with the number of children
and other dependents commonly exceeding ten per household. The conclusion of the
impressionistic yet insightful report was that even a basic standard of living had become
impossible for the average Lusaka family, and that the unfortunate result of the Structural
Adjustment Programme was the structural adjustment of the family.

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The Monthly Food Basket

By January 1996 the Lusaka Food Basket had reached K170,592, and it was this year that
the basket became a monthly staple of JCTR activities. A lot of time and energy has been
spent over the past ten years talking with families, visiting markets, speaking with
marketeers, weighing vegetables with a portable scale and recording the prices of essential
goods that include mealie meal, charcoal, cooking oil, vegetables, bread, tea, soap, etc. The
JCTR continues to invest in regular monthly monitoring of the cost of living for many reasons
on two primary levels.

Monthly research into the changes in cost of living helps the JCTR and its many stakeholders
remain connected to the present living situations of the people, to understand the reasons for
changes in prices from month-to-month and to respond accordingly to the immediate
conditions in the country. At a separate level, the recording of monthly data also helps the
JCTR and its major stakeholders to analyse how cost of living varies over intervals of time, to
understand the reasons for trends in price changes over seasons or years and to make
recommendations for policy-change to create the future socio-economic climate that allows
people to afford a decent standard of living.

On the Ground

By January of 1999 the cost of basic food items in Lusaka had risen to K240,920, and it was
this year that the JCTR began to vocally address the cost of living on a month-to-month
basis, by issuing press statements commenting on the present issues affecting cost of living
and the immediate actions to be taken by government, international organisations, employers
or other groups of people to make basic needs more affordable. To read the more than
seventy press releases is to take a walk through time to revisit all the major events of the
past seven years. Please see Appendix A for a summary of each press release and for the
press releases (only in soft copy) from January of 1999 through December of 2005.

The following headlines help illustrate the point: “Lower Food Prices But Not Higher Food
Consumption” (September 99), “Widening Gap Between Food Basket and Salaries: What Do
Political Party Manifestoes Have to Offer?”(August 2000), “High Cost of Living Should be an
Essential Focus For Political Campaigns, Says JCTR” (November 2001), “Basic Needs
Basket Challenges the 2002 National Budget” (February 02), “People’s Hardships
Heightened: Basic Needs Costs a Million, Says JCTR” (January 03), “JCTR Links Cost of
Living Issues with War in Iraq” (March 03), “Nutrition Should be Central to AIDS Treatment
Discussions, Says JCTR” (April 2004), “Fuel Crises to Affect More the Poor, Says JCTR”
(September 2005). Income is the primary means for people to access decent standards of
living, and the monthly press statements relate income and cost of living to other
contemporary issues facing the people.

Promotion of Human Wages

The January 2000 Lusaka Food Basket brought an important new dimension to the JCTR’s
examination of rising living costs: the comparison of the cost of food to the take-home wages
of a variety of employees. At that time the Food Basket cost K263,370; however, the
average monthly take-home pay was just K135,000 for a primary teacher, K200,000 for
secondary school teacher, K150,000 for a secretary in the civil service and K160,000 for a
nurse.

This explicit comparison of wages to food costs illustrated the non-particular nature of the
poverty that continues to spread across the nation: even the few remaining formal-sector
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employees are unable to afford basic food costs! A new category of poor has emerged: “the
working poor.” And what does this mean for the small farmers, the traders, the marketeers,
the stone-crushers and the majority of Zambians who live without a regular income? And
what about the additional costs of housing, water, education, health-care, clothing and other
items not included in the Food Basket? How are families managing to make ends meet?

Between March and June of 2000 the JCTR explored these quality of life questions in
relation to the situation of primary school teachers in the country. The researchers undertook
a detailed field study of teachers’ living conditions in Lusaka Province, specifically examining
the average take home pay of teachers in comparison to cost of living as measured by the
BNB, the relationship between living conditions and teacher performance, and the policies
and practices that prevent primary educators from achieving sustainable livelihoods.

The primary conclusion of the study was that teachers could not afford the barest minimum
necessities from their salaries alone, but the provision of government housing in addition to
the wages was helping a minority of the teachers to provide for their needs and devote more
energy to teaching. As noted by the report, the majority of teachers resorted to survival
strategies that include “private tuition, vending, reducing the number of meals per day, asking
for help from friends and relatives, and borrowing, both formal and kaloba (an informal
borrowing with exorbitant interest rates, often exceeding 100 percent). Many of these
strategies have negative ramifications on the quality of education, as they are likely to
distract the teachers from concentrating in their work.”

The report recommended that teachers be paid higher wages in accordance with real costs
of living, that non-wage benefits such as accommodation, healthcare and transportation
should be offered to boost teacher performance, and that conditions of service should offer
teachers free education for their children and agricultural produce from the self-help farms in
rural areas. The findings of the report were useful not only to struggling teachers across the
nation, but also to other groups such as nurses and civil servants facing the same
challenges.

The JCTR Basket in one form or another will always have a primary usefulness to unions
and those in the formal sector to negotiate for wages that respect the notions that each
person has inherent dignity, that work is essential to the promotion of the full human person,
and that work must be compensated justly. However, the impact of the basket goes far
beyond wage negotiations for formal sector employees.

Analysis, Research and Advocacy

Particularly since 2000 the JCTR has also analysed the changes in cost of living over
intervals of one-year, in order to form policy-recommendations to improve people’s access to
more human standards of living in the future. In December of that year, as the Food Basket
climbed to K312,695, the Economic and Social Development Project issued its first annual
“year in review” press statement. Expressing great concern over the 30% inflation rate for
2000 that resulted primarily from rapid depreciation of the Kwacha and increases in fuel and
mealie meal prices, the JCTR made the following three policy recommendations: 1)
Government must take preventative measures to mitigate spikes in cost of living, particularly
through strategic grain and oil reserves; 2) There is need for the 2001 budget to be pro-poor;
3) Special attention must be paid to the agricultural sector in order to dampen annual
increases in food costs.

The strong emphasis for 2001 was that government needed to develop a prudent and holistic
agricultural policy, for rises in living costs could be attributed to nothing else but poor
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agricultural planning. Furthermore, with the poor rains during the beginning of that growing
season the prediction was that things would grow much worse during 2002. The headline of
the December 2002 press release strongly confirmed the prediction: “Year 2002
Characterised by Disturbing Social Challenges, Observes JCTR.” The shortage of maize
resulted in the most drastic increase in food prices ever recorded by the basket, and 2002
was also the year that Anglo-American pulled out of the KCM Copper Mines without
considering the real cost on the lives of Zambian families.

In December of 2003, the end of year message pointed out the positive effects on cost of
living brought about by ample maize production, yet also warned government that the
“sacrifices” made in the name of reaching the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC)
completion point should not affect the poor already struggling to afford basic needs. The
December 2004 press statement contains exceptional analysis of the living situation in
Zambia and highlights six priority issues to address in order to “move people from less
human conditions to more human conditions – a truer definition of development than abstract
GDP figures.” The six strong demands include responsive and responsible leadership,
education for future development, a holistic health-care system, total debt cancellation for
poverty reduction, sustainable agricultural practices that will benefit the small-scale farmer in
the long-term, and a clear strategy for employment creation.

2005 will be remembered as a year of heightened Constitutional debate, a year of drought,


food shortages and fuel crises, a year of the mysteriously appreciating Kwacha, and also the
year that Zambia qualified for HIPC relief on external debts and total cancellation of
multinational debts through the G8 initiative. In terms of the BNB for 2005, food prices
decreased slightly between January and April but rose sharply in the month of May and
continued to rise thereafter due to maize shortages and fuel increases. The 2005 end of
year press release spells out 6 priority principles for 2006: The 2006 National budget must be
pro-poor and utilise HIPC savings wisely, government must strive to pay its employees
adequately and on-time, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security must be strengthened to
effectively carry-out labour inspections, Constitution-making must not distract from other
areas of national development, the 2006 elections must be issue based, and finally, any
positive economic development, including the Kwacha appreciation, must be felt by the poor.

A new commitment of the JCTR is to disseminate the basket statistics over years of time,
and in a simple format, so that families, NGOs, employees and employers, marketeers,
members of parliament and other stakeholders can make well-informed actions to promote
better living conditions amidst rising costs of living. Furthermore, the measure of cost of
living over the past fifteen years provides a very valuable resource to researchers ranging
from students at the University of Zambia, economists at the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) and social scientists at the United Nations Development Project (UNDP).

Unveiling the Basic Needs Basket

Over a period of ten years, the JCTR measured the cost of basic food items (also including
charcoal, soap, wash soap and Vaseline) for a family of six living in Lusaka using the same
composition of the Food Basket and a relatively consistent methodology for data collection.
But in January of 2002, the JCTR unveiled a new and improved basket with a new
composition and fresh name: the Basic Needs Basket (BNB). Since the early 1990s, there
was recognition that the primary weakness of the Food Basket was that it failed to uplift a
substantial portion of other regular necessary costs incurred by a family. As one Lusaka
resident wrote in response to the newspaper article “How Many are Surviving?” appearing in
The Citizen during December of 1998: “I also observed that your food basket does not

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include rent, ‘fictitious electricity and water bills,’ and transport to and from work. Are these
things a luxury? The end result is starvation!”

In the third quarter of 2001 the JCTR brought together representatives of key stakeholder
groups in order to revise the basket to make it more adequate and accurate. The major
changes included the separation of basic food items from essential non-food items, the
addition of housing, water and electricity to the non-food items and a new composition of the
“food basket” to make it more nutritionally sound. Also, the BNB began highlighting some
other normal costs incurred by families including education, health and transportation, but
these numbers do not impact the monthly total of the basket.

Recorded in January of 2002, the cost of the first Lusaka Basic Needs Basket was K829,250
with the basic food items alone costing K324,650. As written in the press release
highlighting these changes, “At first glance this figure may seem astronomically high, yet any
Zambian reflecting on the demands of their real situation will acknowledge that it is a true
reflection of the cost of living!”

Measuring Impact

In April of 2003, as the Basic Needs Basket reached K1,030,850, the JCTR consulted a
Policy Impact Assessment to investigate the extent to which the BNB had fed into “wider”
policies of improving the welfare of the people, especially the poor. The methodology of the
appraisal involved reading all materials, press releases and newspaper clippings related to
the JCTR Basket, speaking at length with all members of the JCTR staff, interviewing users
of the BNB classified as government ministries and departments, trade unions, NGOs and
co-operating partners, and holding detailed conversations with experts from the Central
Statistical Office, the University of Zambia and the National Food and Nutrition Commission.

The assessment provided an exceptionally honest and objective critique of the Basic Needs
Basket exercise, expressing not only the constructive criticism of numerous stakeholders but
also the magnitude of positive impact made in society by more than ten years of advocacy.
As for concerns, there was mention of the narrow geographical scope of the BNB, the lack of
a clear and explicit scientific methodology, the limited circulation in terms of copies and
geographic scope, the inability of the BNB to take into account the many disparities between
Zambian families and the apparent targeting of the formal sector for advocacy efforts.

As for the positive impact of the JCTR Basket, the assessment revealed first that there was
widespread awareness of the Basic Needs Basket by policy makers ranging from
government officials to employees of international organisations. For example, the
committee of permanent secretaries that meets prior to negotiations with public service
unions always makes reference to the BNB. Also, numerous researchers regularly refer to
the JCTR Basket as one indicator of poverty, and it has appeared within the UNDP’s annual
Human Development Report.

Second, though the assessment was unable to establish any direct link between the JCTR
Basket and formation of government policy, the conclusion was drawn that “It can be safely
said that the basket has single-handedly put the issue of cost of living in Zambia in the
limelight. It has provided an important benchmark or progress indicator against which
poverty as income-deprivation has come to be measured.” Furthermore, the evaluation
revealed that government had taken notice of the BNB and was in the process of creating its
own Central Statistical Office “Basic Needs Basket” to measure a national average cost of
basic family needs.

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Third, the usefulness of the Basic Needs Basket to trade unions, civil society and
international organisations was also captured. For example, it was discovered that alone the
Zambia Union of Financial Institutions and Allied Workers (ZUFIAW) used the JCTR Basket
in negotiations with 22 institutions during the first part of the year 2003. In only one instance
did an employer reject the BNB as an unreliable source of information. As for civil society
organisations, Women for Change found the basket a useful tool in helping rural
communities understand why teachers go on strike. Within the broad sector of international
organisations, an exceptional example of impact is found in the Finnish Government that
took into account the JCTR Basket in determining its level of support to Zambia’s Poverty
Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). The assessment of impact has provided a valuable
benchmark from which to spring forward.

The Expanded Urban Basic Needs Basket

In late 2003 the JCTR began to address one of the concerns from the Poverty Impact
Assessment by conducting a follow-up study to consider how to expand the Basic Needs
Basket exercise beyond its central location in Lusaka. Trade unions, government
representatives, civil society groups and other Zambians have long been asking the JCTR to
monitor cost of living in locations all across Zambia, including the rural areas. Taking into
account the limited capacity of the Social Conditions Research Project, which evolved out of
the Economic and Social Development Project, the consultant suggested a gradual move
towards decentralisation by first moving the BNB to a few urban areas with similar
characteristics as Lusaka.

2004 marked the pilot-year of the Expanded Urban Basic Needs Basket, and in January of
2004 trained Field Researchers also conducted the BNB survey in Kabwe, Kitwe, Ndola,
Livingstone and Luanshya. Based upon a discovery that essential food items averaged
K462,700 in Luanshya over the months of April, May and June compared to K456,300 for the
same basket of food in Lusaka, the headline of the June 2004 press statement proclaimed:
“Basic Needs Basket Reveals that Luanshya is High Cost of Living Area!” According to the
Luanshya Field Researcher, the high food prices at that time resulted from increased
demand by former miners of Luanshya mine, who were paid their terminal benefits mid-2004.
In January of 2005 the cost of essential food and non-food items for a family of six was
K1,340,840 in Lusaka, K1,108,750 in Livingstone, K988,280 in Ndola, K973,910 in Kitwe,
K842,900 in Kabwe and K838,410 in Luanshya. The overall cost of living in Luanshya
remains relatively low in this small town due primarily to the availability of affordable housing.

In 2005 the Social Conditions Team focused extensively upon BNB activities outside of
Lusaka city. In January, for the first time, Field Researchers within Ndola, Kitwe, Luanshya
and Kabwe received copies of the published Basic Needs Basket for their town, to be
distributed to strategic stakeholders. In the first half of the year, members of the JCTR
travelled to each urban area to begin sensitisation of stakeholders and the public at large
about this newly arrived advocacy tool. As written in the final report from these trips: “Over
the course of three trips, the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) facilitated two
workshops, three radio interviews and countless meetings related to the purpose and
usefulness of the BNB, within the towns of Kabwe, Luanshya, Ndola, Kitwe and Livingstone.
In summary, the Basic Needs Basket was received with overwhelming enthusiasm in almost
every place of presentation, and stakeholders across the expanded areas have high
expectations for the JCTR to act as a leader in this movement to make basic needs
accessible to the people.”

From the feedback of the people on the ground in these areas, the JCTR developed an
advocacy strategy to further empower stakeholders within these areas to begin confidently
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using the Basic Needs Basket at local level as an advocacy tool. Primarily six strategic
stakeholder groups were identified for further training, including Church Groups, NGOs,
Trade Unions, Resident Development Committees (RDCs), Government and the Private
Sector. Therefore, during the second half of 2005, the Social Conditions team returned to
the expanded urban areas to identify Focal Persons for the 6 strategic groups and to begin
facilitation of advocacy training workshops with specific groups. In lively workshops held with
Focal Persons, Church Groups, NGOs/CBOs and Trade Unions across Livingstone,
Luanshya, Ndola and Luanshya, over 50 participating groups made independent resolutions
to use the BNB in some follow-up advocacy effort and over 5 voluntary teams were
established to coordinate grassroots education and advocacy on the basket.

As of January 2006, the BNB stood at K1,251,900 in Livingstone, K1,160,720 in Ndola,


K1,054,640 in Kitwe, K922,290 in Luanshya and K917,140 in Kabwe. The JCTR will return
to these five urban areas during the course of 2006 to monitor advocacy efforts begun in
2005 and also to extend advocacy training to other strategic stakeholder groups, including
Women’s Associations, Government, the Private Sector and RDCs. A heavy focus for 2006
will be the establishment of a pilot Rural Basket in a few select rural communities across
Zambia, located within the districts of Mfumbwe, Masaiti, Malama and Monse.

A Disastrous Decade

The drastic economic reforms and severe economic shocks faced during the 1990s caused a
ripple that will have a negative impact on the quality of life within Zambia for many decades
to come. As an historical record of the rapid increase in the amount of Kwacha needed to
access basic goods and services, the JCTR Basket links the macro-economic instability to its
impact on the lives of the people, especially the most vulnerable. The cost of living sky-
rocketed throughout the 1990s, formal wages failed to keep up, jobs were lost, government
investment in social sectors stagnated, poverty rates increased and the result was a harsh
blow to human well-being within Zambia. The following statistics from the UNDP, the World
Bank (WB) and the Central Statistical Office (CSO) illuminate some of the rippling effects.

On the macro-economic level, Zambia’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declined over
the 1990s from US$3.3 billion in 1993 to US$3.1 billion in 1999. During the ten-year period
1993 to 2003, growth in GDP per capita was negative 0.1% in spite of recent growth in real
GDP from US$3.1 billion in 1999 to US$4.3 billion in 2003 (WB). The economic reforms of
the early 1990s also decimated the employment situation in the country, with the number of
people employed in the formal sector declining drastically from 629,926 in 1991 to 509,136 in
1993. Though Zambia’s economy has begun to grow once again, the number of formally
employed workers in the country has only returned to 597,953 as of 2003 (CSO). In
essence, while population grew steadily over the 1990s, both real GDP and the size of the
formal workforce declined sharply due to economic reform and only began to recover at the
end of the decade.

At the same time, economic instability resulted in rapid increases in cost of living and the
heightened struggle for the jobless, the retrenched and even the formally employed to afford
basic needs. The JCTR Food Basket was K6,375 in March of 1991, but had increased by
674% to K49,360 in April of 1993. Even within US$ terms, the JCTR Food Basket increased
by 107% over four years from US$86.70 in March 1991 to US$179.18 at the peak of
economic instability in March of 1995. The rate of inflation through the first half of the 1990s
outpaced the rate of depreciation in the Kwacha, which explains for the simultaneous
inflation even in US$ terms. Though no information on worker salaries has been uncovered
from this same time period, it is safe to say from current trends that upward adjustments in

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salaries lagged behind the inflation rates in the country; essentially, real income for most
Zambians fell during the 1990s.

Therefore, it is little surprise that progress in the primary social sectors has been little to
none. Looking at education, the primary net attendance rate (grades 1-7) was 68% in 1991,
73% in 1993 and 74% in 2003, and the secondary net attendance rate (grades 8-12) was
20% in 1991, 23% in 1993 and 28% in 2003 (CSO). But the adult literacy rate declined from
72.8% in 1990 to 68% in 2000 (UNDP). This suggests that even though a slightly greater
percentage of youth are now attending grades corresponding to their ages, the quality of the
education has actually declined. Also, the number of malnourished children rose to 60% in
2001 from 43% in the early 1990’s (UNDP). Furthermore, in 1990 the average life
expectancy was 54.4 years, in 2000 it was 46.1 years and latest estimates put it closer to 37
years (UNDP).

Economic liberalisation in conjunction with serious internal economic shocks such as the
collapse of commercial banks has indirectly caused a stagnation and decline in human
development within Zambia. The JCTR Basket illuminates how this macro-economic
instability affected people’s lives: Zambian families were unable to keep up with the rapidly
rising cost of basic needs, with the consequences manifesting themselves in a decline in the
quality of most lives. Only now does it appear that the macro-economic situation is beginning
to improve, but extreme damage to the livelihoods of the people has already been done. As
Zambia begins once again to look toward the future, the Basic Needs Basket will remain an
important tool for drawing attention to the struggle of the masses to access basic needs and
for ensuring that economic growth in Zambia is for the benefit of all, especially the poor.

1.2 The JCTR Mission Statement

The mission of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR), a project of the Zambia-
Malawi Province of the Society of Jesus, is to foster from a faith-inspired perspective a
critical understanding of current issues. Guided by the church’s social teaching that
emphasises human dignity in community, our mission is to generate action for the promotion
of the fullness of human life through research, education, advocacy and consultation.
Cooperating widely with other groups, our Jesuit sponsorship directs us to a special concern
for the poor and assures an international linkage to our efforts. We aim to promote an
inculturated faith, gender equality and empowerment of local communities in the work of
justice and peace and the integrity of creation.

1.3 The Basic Needs Basket Purpose Statement

All Zambians feel the pinch of rising living costs, but as one participant in a recent workshop
observed, “Some people are enslaved without even knowing it, simply paying 1,000 Kwacha
here and there and not understanding how systemic or widespread the problem of cost of
living has become!” Cost of living has skyrocketed as incomes, social services and
opportunities have stagnated and even declined, creating a harsh situation where the
majority of families cannot afford to lead decent lives. It is in this context that the JCTR
undertakes the Basic Needs Basket (BNB), a monthly survey of the cost of essential food
and non-food items that comprise the bare-minimum basket of goods needed for an urban
family of six to survive with a decent and healthy standard of living.

The Basic Needs Basket provides an accurate, straight-forward look at household needs and
their corresponding costs in Lusaka, Livingstone, Luanshya, Kabwe, Kitwe and Ndola; it is for
this reason that the BNB has become valuable to the ordinary Zambian in addition to the
economist, the policy-maker, the unionist, the employee, the marketeer, etc. The BNB
9
challenges people from all backgrounds to explore the question: “What is the reason for this
gap between family income and the cost of basic needs?” Possible answers to this question
cut across all aspects of society and life, and so do the possible responses.

The Basic Needs Basket is many things to many people: a “shopping list,” a “wish list,” a
promotion of basic human rights, an appeal for the restoration of human dignity, a guide to
paying a living wage, the evidence to challenge an unjust wage, a statistical measure of
rising costs of living, an historical testimony to a deplorable decade, a basis for opposing an
increased water tariff, a platform for challenging a misplaced government priority, a monthly
stimulant to discuss poverty issues, a monthly lesson in economic literacy, an analytic-tool to
stimulate research, a catalytic-tool to mobilise action, a cry to awaken the people!

1.4 Clarifications About the Basic Needs Basket

As with all statistical exercises, the Basic Needs Basket survey has its own limitations and
foundational assumptions. The following points provide important clarification on a number
of concerns related to methodology and scope.

First and foremost, the BNB does not attempt to portray the cost of living across all parts of
Zambia. The JCTR Basket has always surveyed a minimum cost of basic needs in Lusaka,
and beginning in 2004, the JCTR has also produced a BNB for Ndola, Kitwe, Luanshya,
Kabwe and Livingstone. In other words, the JCTR Basic Needs Basket provides a realistic
and accurate look at the cost of a decent living standard for a family of six in specific urban
areas across Lusaka, Copperbelt, Central and Southern Provinces. On the other hand, the
Central Statistical Office (CSO) produces its own “Basic Needs Basket” that portrays an
average cost of basic food and non-food goods across Zambia as a whole.

The JCTR Basic Needs Basket is not directly comparable to the CSO Basic Needs Basket,
but both statistical measures portray the same reality of high living costs. In January of
2006, the cost of the JCTR Basic Needs Basket was K1,415,650 in Lusaka, K1,251,900 in
Livingstone, K1,160,720 in Ndola, K1,054,640 in Kitwe, K917,140 in Kabwe and K922,290 in
Luanshya. In the same month the CSO Basic Needs Basket showed the average cost of
living across all of Zambia at K1,032,423, which is a very realistic figure considering that this
survey assesses the cost of living in rural areas in addition to urban centres across the
country. In the future, the CSO intends to measure a province-specific average cost of living,
and the JCTR intends to examine the cost of living in specific rural areas by creating a Rural
Basket. Once again, the JCTR and CSO Baskets are not comparable but complementary,
each useful in its own way. The JCTR BNB is more appropriate to a trade union advocating
for just wages for employees within Livingstone, whereas the CSO basket is more
appropriate in measuring poverty levels countrywide.

Second, it is important to note that the Basic Needs Basket is not based upon actual
expenditures of urban Zambian families but on ideal expenditures to promote proper nutrition
and health for members of the average-sized Zambian family of six. The food and non-food
items that form the basket have not been chosen arbitrarily, but represent basic, preferred
goods that are commonly purchased by those urban families that can afford the costs and
would ideally be purchased by all Zambian families. This is an important distinction to note:
price was a non-factor in determining the composition of the BNB.

The main criterion for inclusion within the basket was that a good be a basic need of a family
in promotion of nutrition, health or a decent standard of living. For example, the type of
housing surveyed is a basic three-bedroom house, to allow one bedroom for the girl-children,
one for the boy-children and one for the parents. According to the UN Global Shelter
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Strategy, to which Zambia is a signatory, “adequate housing” encompasses adequate
security, adequate privacy, adequate space, adequate lighting and adequate location with
regards to work and basic facilities. The rental fee for a three-bedroom house is significantly
higher than what most Zambian families are actually paying for housing, but putting costs
aside, the three-bedroom house is the appropriate size to promote a decent standard of
living for a family of six.

Third, from a practical perspective, the JCTR Basic Needs Basket will likely never be the
officially recognised statistical measure of cost of living in Zambia. The JCTR has neither the
capacity nor the intention to conduct intensive, nation-wide surveys of rising costs of basic
needs. On the contrary, the aim of the JCTR is to monitor the cost of a decent standard of
living in sample locations across Zambia, to widely disseminate this information in a simple,
user-friendly format to Zambian families and other stakeholders and to encourage others to
actively use this information to achieve more human lives for the nation’s poorest.

Although the Basic Needs Basket has direct implication on the determination of the nation’s
Poverty Datum Line and the assessment of the prevalence of poverty, the Central Statistical
Office as a government body has a greater capacity to carry out comprehensive statistical
exercises that cover the breadth and width of Zambia. The JCTR maintains the important
role as a faith-based organisation to add a value-dimension to the basket monitoring by
portraying the cost of essential goods to promote the human dignity of the person. Also, the
JCTR has a responsibility to critically evaluate the work of the CSO.

Fourth, from a statistical point of view, there are two significant weaknesses in the Lusaka
Basket data that make it difficult yet not impossible to undertake long-term trends analysis.
For those of you who intend to use the data in this fashion, please note the following two
crucial clarifications!

One, at the end of 2001, the JCTR Food Basket underwent modifications in content, quantity
and scope to form the more complete Basic Needs Basket. The recognized implication of
this change was that the new data would not be directly comparable to the old data. Please
note that the Food Basket statistics are still self-comparable, as with the BNB statistics, for
both the Food Basket and the Basic Needs Basket have been conducted using nearly
uniform methodology. Also, many individual commodities such as mealie meal and charcoal
are comparable from 1997 up to the present. For those who are interested in comparing
costs in Lusaka from the 1990s to the present, please refer to Appendix C that includes
analysis and graphs combining Food Basket Data with Basic Needs Basket Data from 1997-
2005, based upon a few simplifying assumptions.

Two, referring again to the BNB data for Lusaka, there is a significant jump in the cost of
housing taking affect at the beginning of 2003, at the beginning of 2005 and at the beginning
of 2006, simply because rent fees are often adjusted upwards on an annual basis. Since the
cost of housing comprises roughly 40% of the basket, these annual adjustments in rent
(excluding 2004) cause sudden, drastic increases in the overall cost of the Basic Needs
Basket. For those interested in seeing a more congruent trend line, it might be helpful to
make backward adjustments to BNB statistics to apply each rent increase in monthly
instalments.

2.0 Basket Scope and Methodology

Simple and accurate. This phrase forms the essence of the JCTR Basket in all of its forms.
Numerous books have demonstrated extensive methodologies for undertaking a “bread
basket” monitoring activity and surely the JCTR Basket has been influenced by the
11
discussions surrounding this issue. However, the JCTR Basket has never attempted to
create model families or count calories or factor in average expenses due to variable needs
such as clothing, transportation, recreation, etc. What the JCTR Basket has always done
well is to determine what products urban Zambians need and prefer, and to estimate what
quantity of these goods an average-sized Zambian family should minimally consume each
month to live healthily.

To initially form the Food Basket a number of families in Lusaka were surveyed on the goods
they preferred and the necessary quantities they needed each month. To form the Basic
Needs Basket, the initial basket was modified on the recommendations of statisticians, civil
society members, academics and nutritionists to make it more nutritious and representative
of the totality of family needs. In other words, the current composition of the Basic Needs
Basket is the result of expert advice from average Zambians and from academics, thus
achieving the difficult combination of scientific accuracy and technical simplicity.

With a basket in place, the only other aspect of a basket exercise is the monthly collection of
prices from markets representing a cross-section of a city. Of course, this is an over-
simplistic summary of the JCTR Basket methodology, and the following pages reveal how
the JCTR maintains an accurate survey of cost of living amidst the unpredictable nature of
the Zambian market.

2.1 Lusaka Food Basket (1991-2001)

The Lusaka Food Basket survey was carried out between 1991 and 2001 using a relatively
consistent methodology. Based upon a survey administered by the JCTR at St. Ignatius
parish to determine the most common expenditures to meet basic needs for a family of six,
the following types and quantities of goods were brought together to form the Food Basket:

• Three 25 kilogram bags of mealie-meal (breakfast)


• Two 90 kilogram bags of charcoal
• Two 2.5 litre containers of cooking oil
• A 30-day supply of vegetables (rape, tomato and onion)
• 8 kilograms of meat (brisket)
• Four units of 10 eggs
• 30 loafs of plain bread
• 8 kilograms of sugar
• 1 kilogram of salt
• Two 250 gram packages of tea
• Six tablets of soap (Geisha)
• Four 500 gram packages of wash soap (Surf)
• Two 100 g jars of jelly (Vaseline)

Each survey averaged costs from primarily the same four locations: Northmead, Longacres,
Town Centre and Soweto. In 1998, with the introduction of Shoprite to Lusaka, Town Centre
Shoprite replaced Town Centre Market in the survey. The logic behind choosing these four
markets was that they provided a sample of the variation in prices between low, medium and
high-density neighbourhoods, with Long Acres as a low-density market, Northmead and
Town Centre (Shoprite) as medium-density markets and Soweto as a high-density market.

Two primary observations sum up the limitation of the Food Basket as a measure of the cost
of basic needs. First, the food items included in the basket likely fell short of providing a
nutritious diet for a family of six over a period of one month. The initial change to address
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this limitation was in 2001 with the publishing of costs of a few “supplementary nutritional
items” that included beans, kapenta and milk. Second, the Food Basket did not consider
such essential non-food expenditures as clothing, housing, water, electricity, fuel, transport,
education, health care and hygiene products, to name a few of the suggestions given to the
JCTR. The re-formulation of the basket in 2002 addressed each of these two issues to
create the Basic Needs Basket.

2.2 The Basic Needs Basket (2002-Present)

The same methodology is used to conduct the Basic Needs Basket in Lusaka, Livingstone,
Kabwe, Ndola, Kitwe and Luanshya. Therefore, Section 2.2 provides an explanation of
general BNB methodology, while Section 2.2.1 looks at the specific scope of the Lusaka BNB
and Section 2.2.2 examines the scope of the BNB in each of the Expanded Urban areas.

In January 2002 the Basic Needs Basket first appeared in its new format displaying the cost
of essential non-food items such as housing, water and electricity in addition to the cost of
the basic food items. The changes to the basket were undertaken through a consultative
process with representatives from the Central Statistical Office, the National Food and
Nutrition Commission, the Programme Against Malnutrition, the Civil Servants Union of
Zambia, the Catholic Commission for Justice, Development and Peace, the Zambia Alliance
of Women, the media and other stakeholders who met and agreed upon the new format and
composition of the basket. The two primary goals of the meeting were to make the basket
more adequate in representation of the essential commodities that a Lusaka family should be
spending its money on to meet a decent standard of living, and to make the basket more
accurate in terms of nutrition and market preferences. The composition of the BNB reflects
the consensus reached during this meeting of stakeholders during the 3rd Quarter of 2001.

Once again, the JCTR Basic Needs Basket was not formed by calculating calories or using
some other theoretical method of determining the needs of a family. However, according to
calculations performed in 2004 by statisticians of the Central Statistical Office, the food items
represented in the BNB actually meet the National Food and Nutrition Commission’s
minimum standard of a nutritional diet. The NFNC estimates that the average calorie
requirement for an average-sized Zambian family of six is approximately 2,050 calories per
person per day. According to the CSO, the food items comprising the JCTR Basic Needs
Basket provide each family member approximately 2,130 calories per day, in excess of the
theoretical minimum by 80 calories.

The following examination of the make-up of the basket does not provide justification for the
commodities or quantities included in the BNB (those in bold), but examines which brand or
type of commodity is included in the BNB and what methodology is used by the Field
Researchers to survey the prices of these commodities. To ensure consistency and
comparability of the BNB between Lusaka and the five additional Expanded Urban areas, the
following clarifications were made at a workshop held in December of 2004 between the
JCTR and Field Researchers from Livingstone, Kabwe, Kitwe, Ndola and Luanshya.

Essential Food Items:

• Mealie Meal
o Quantity: 3 x 25 Kg bags
o Type: Breakfast meal
o Explanation: It was agreed that breakfast meal is superior to roller meal in both quality
and preference. From a practical perspective, many men and women use breakfast

13
meal because it lasts longer and is more convenient to use, and therefore it is the
preferred commodity.

• Beans
o Quantity: 2 Kgs
o Type: Local preference
o Explanation: It was agreed that there is little difference in price or weight between
types of beans, therefore the red, white, or mixed beans are all suitable for collecting
prices. Also, it was discussed that the quantity of 1 kg is approximately two of the
plastic yellow scoops used by marketeers across Zambia, with this quantity subject to
monthly verification by scale.

• Kapenta
o Quantity: 2 Kgs
o Type: Siavonga or Mpulungu
o Explanation: It was agreed that Siavonga kapenta is the preferred type of kapenta. In
those towns where Siavonga kapenta cannot be purchased (Luanshya, Ndola and
Kitwe), Mpulungu kapenta is the market preference. In those cities where both
Siavonga and Mpulungu kapenta can be purchased (Lusaka), Siavonga kapenta
remains the commodity to be surveyed for the basket. The portable scale should be
consistently used to measure a quantity of 1 kg.

• Dry Fish
o Quantity: 1 Kg
o Type: Average-sized
o Explanation: It was agreed that dry fish has been the single most difficult commodity
to measure in a consistent and accurate fashion. The fish varies in size depending on
the day, market and stand. Also, the number of fish in a pile varies with the size of the
fish and the preference of the marketeer. Therefore, it was decided that the scale
should be consistently used to identify how many average-sized fish make 1 kg and
how much this would cost at a given stand. It is up to the Field Researcher to use his
or her good judgement to report accurate figures for dry fish.

• Meat (mixed cut)


o Quantity: 4 Kgs
o Type: Butchery
o Explanation: It was agreed that only meat found in butchery shops should be recorded
since other meat sold in market stands has a higher likelihood of being contaminated
by harmful bacteria or going bad quickly.

• Eggs
o Quantity: 2 Units of 10 eggs
o Type: No specification
o Explanation: It was agreed that in circumstances where a quantity of 10 is not found,
the price of one egg should be calculated and multiplied by 10 to find the unit price.

• Vegetables (greens)
o Quantity: 7.5 Kgs
o Type: Rape
o Explanation: It was agreed that rape was the most abundant type of greens and
therefore the exclusive type of greens to cost for the BNB. The scale should be used
consistently to determine the number of bundles that make-up 1 kg.

14
• Tomato
o Quantity: 4 Kgs
o Type: Average-sized
o Explanation: Following similar rationale as for Dry Fish, it was agreed that Field
Researcher should use the scale in a consistent manner based upon his or her best
judgement to accurately record the price of 1 kg of tomatoes.

• Onion
o Quantity: 4 Kgs
o Type: Average-sized
o Explanation: Following similar rationale as for Dry Fish and Tomato, it was agreed that
a Field Researcher should use the scale in a consistent manner based upon his or her
best judgement to accurately record the price of 1 kg of onions.

• Milk
o Quantity: 1 x 2 litres or 4 x 500 millilitres
o Type: Fresh or Long Life
o Explanation: To everyone’s surprise, it was realised that some Field Researchers
were collecting the price for fresh milk and some were collecting figures for long life
milk. After much discussion, it was decided that in those cities where fresh milk is
widely available (Lusaka and Livingstone), the price of fresh milk preferably in a 2 litre
quantity would be recorded. For those cities in which fresh milk is not widely available
(Ndola, Kitwe, Kabwe, and Luanshya), the price of long life milk will be recorded in
500 millilitre packs.

• Cooking Oil
o Quantity: 2 x 2 litres or (8/5) x 2.5 litres
o Brand: Local preference
o Explanation: It was agreed that to remain consistent with the National Food and
Nutrition Commission’s recommended monthly quantity of 4 litres cooking oil for a
family of six, the preferred size of cooking oil to be recorded would be 2 litres.
However, for those cities where 2.5 litres is more commonly found, the price of a 2.5
litre container would be recorded and then the equivalent price for the 4 litre total
would be later calculated.

• Bread
o Quantity: 30 x 1 loaf
o Type: Local preference (ordinary white bread)
o Explanation: It was agreed that there is little major variation in bread types except for
brown and white.

• Sugar
o Quantity: 8 Kgs
o Type: Zambian
o Explanation: It was agreed that the price of sugar from the Zambia Sugar Company
should be recorded.

• Salt
o Quantity: 1 Kg
o Type: Iodised
o Explanation: It was agreed that the salt should be Iodised realising the added
nutritional-value of iodised salt.

15
• Tea (leaves)
o Quantity: 1 x 500 g
o Brand: Tips
o Explanation: It was agreed that Tips is the preferred brand of tea and it is widely
available across the nation. The preferred quantity is 500 grams, yet the price of
smaller bags of Tips Tea may be found and recorded as such on the Collection
Template.

Essential Non-Food Items:

• Charcoal
o Quantity: 2 x 90 Kg, (18/5) x 50 Kg or (36/5) x 25 Kg
o Type: Local availability
o Explanation: It was agreed that the preferred quantity size is 90 kg. In those markets
where charcoal is only sold in 50 kg or 25 kg sizes, the price of 25 kg or 50 kg is to be
recorded. An equivalent price for the total quantity of 180 kg will then be calculated.

• Soap
o Quantity: 10 x 150 g tablets
o Brand: Lifebuoy
o Explanation: It was agreed that Lifebuoy is currently the preferred soap across all BNB
towns.

• Wash Soap (paste)


o Quantity: 4 x 400 g
o Brand: Boom
o Explanation: It was agreed that Boom is currently the preferred wash paste across all
BNB cities.

• Jelly
o Quantity: 1 x 500 mL
o Brand: Vaseline / Local preference
o Explanation: It was agreed that Vaseline or an alternative local preference should be
included in the BNB.

• Electricity
o Provider: ZESCO
o Type of Connection: Fixed cost for medium density, three-bedroom house
o Explanation: It was agreed that in those cities where multiple parties provide electrical
connections, the price of electricity should be taken from ZESCO as the most
prevalent Zambian electricity company. Also, the survey should be based upon the
fixed electricity tariff for basic, three-bedroom houses within medium density
neighbourhoods. In order to determine the tariff, Field Researchers should sit with a
manager at ZESCO, explain which neighbourhoods have the basic, three-bedroom
houses and find out the fixed cost charged to these houses. Due to variations in
housing across the BNB areas, the number of units of electricity corresponding to a
medium density, three-bedroom house may vary from place to place.

16
• Water
o Provider: National Water and Sewerage Company
o Type of Connection: Fixed cost for medium density, three-bedroom house
o Explanation: It was agreed that this price should be determined by contacting the local
Water and Sewerage Company in each BNB city. Similar to the explanation for
electricity, the average price for water should be based upon average fixed costs for
basic, three-bedroom houses within medium density neighbourhoods. The price
should be recorded as either an average value or a range of values.

• Housing
o Type: Basic three-bedroom house
o Location: Medium density
o Explanation: It was agreed that a basic three-bedroom house is the appropriate size of
house to provide a decent standard of living for a family of six, imagining one room for
the parents, one for the boy-children and one for the girl-children. To determine an
average range of values for a basic three-bedroom house, Field Researchers should
make contact with tenants in at least three different medium-density communities for
monthly rates of rent. In most cities, the former council houses with three bedrooms
provide the standard for a basic three-bedroom house.

Other Additional Costs:

• Education
o Quantity: PTA per year
o Type: Basic
o Explanation: It was agreed that the cost of basic education (grades 1-9) should also
be taken in each community to highlight an important family cost in addition to those
that sum to make the BNB. Since school fees have been withdrawn, some costs of
education have been transferred into the annual fees owed to the Parent Teacher
Association (PTA). To determine a range of costs for education, the Field Researcher
should phone or visit schools in at least three different communities across town.

• Health
o Type: Monthly scheme or consultation fee
o Explanation: It was agreed that it would also be helpful to highlight some of the cost
associated with health services, either providing information on monthly schemes or
the consultation fee to see a doctor, nurse, clinical officer, etc. Each Field Researcher
should determine the most appropriate cost depending on location.

• Transport
o Quantity: Three Routes
o Type: Round trip bus fare
o Explanation: It was agreed that each Field Researcher should determine and monitor
the cost of three round-trip bus routes to highlight some likely additional costs to be
accrued by a family each month.

Located within Appendix B is a copy of the guidelines for data collection by field researchers
and a demonstration of calculations for the January 2006 Basic Needs Basket for Lusaka,
Livingstone, Luanshya, Ndola, Kitwe and Kabwe.

17
2.2.1 Scope of the Lusaka BNB

Most of the details of the Lusaka Basic Needs Basket have already been explained, thus the
following points intend to illuminate only those unique factors that distinguish it from the BNB
in other cities.

Beginning in January of 2002, as the Food Basket transformed into the Basic Needs Basket,
the number of markets included in the Lusaka survey increased from four to seven. Since
2002 the seven sampling locations have included Northmead Market and City Centre
Shoprite as retail outlets in low-density communities, Kabwata as a market in a medium-
density neighbourhood and Matero Market, Chawama Market, City Market and Chainda
Market as representative of high-density compounds. The cost of living in Lusaka is the
highest among all BNB cities, particularly due to a lack of decent, affordable housing in the
city. Appendix B contains a sample calculation for the Lusaka BNB that provides a closer
look at variation of prices across the capital city.

One other important distinction to make about the Lusaka BNB is that it is the only one to
include comparison figures of “take-home pay” for a few types of formal employees. The
wages for a teacher, secretary in the civil service, nurse, police officer and security guard are
updated by the JCTR with input from the Civil Servants Union of Zambia (CSUZ) on real
salaries to employees after the deduction of statutory taxes. Realising that the majority of
the working population earns income from the informal sector, the JCTR has also begun to
highlight the monthly take-home pay of a few individuals working informally as traders,
marketeers, pieceworkers, etc.

2.2.2 Scope of the Expanded Urban BNB

Beginning in January of 2004 the Basic Needs Basket survey moved out from the capital city
of Lusaka to also highlight cost of living in five other towns that include Luanshya, Kitwe,
Ndola, Kabwe and Livingstone, which expands the BNB to Central, Copperbelt and Southern
Provinces in addition to Lusaka Province. These cities were recommended for inclusion
within the BNB survey not only because of their similar characteristics to Lusaka, but
because of some unique factors also. The following paragraphs briefly mention some
background on each of the towns included in the expanded urban BNB, including the names
of the retail outlets averaged in the monthly price survey. Please see Appendix B for a
specific look at the variation in prices across markets within each city.

Livingstone

Livingstone is considered the tourist capital of Zambia, located next to the magnificent
Victoria Falls in Southern Province. But many feel that the growth of the tourism industry has
occurred without a corresponding growth in jobs. The manufacturing sector of the city has
collapsed since the early 1990s, and approximately 40 textile companies alone have closed
down. Important economic activities include cross-boarder trade, and the government
remains the largest formal employer in the city. As revealed through the BNB survey, the
cost of living in Livingstone is relatively high particularly due to the cost of electricity, water,
vegetables and housing.

The following six retail outlets are included in the monthly Basic Needs Basket survey: Town
Centre Market, Dambwa Market, Maramba Market, Mbita Market, Elaine Brittel and Town
Centre Shoprite. Maramba Market is the central distribution point for most goods and
correspondingly shows the lowest prices for many food items such as beans, kapenta and
other vegetables.
18
Kabwe

Kabwe is a town located in Central Province that has also been affected negatively by the
downturn in the economy over the past two decades. The lead and zinc mines that once
provided the main source of employment in the town have closed down. A few industries in
Kabwe have survived economic liberalisation and privatisation, including Mulungushi Textiles
(with foreign investment) and Zambia Railways. Most residents earn a living through trading
and farming.

The following five retail outlets are included in the monthly Basic Needs Basket survey:
Kamanda Market, Katondo Market, Nakoli Market, Lukanga Market and Shoprite. The cost
of living in Kabwe is relatively affordable compared especially to Lusaka and Livingstone, yet
the economic opportunities are also proportionally less. The average cost of rent for a three-
bedroom house is towards the lower end of the spectrum compared to Livingstone and
especially Lusaka.

Ndola

Ndola was once considered the commercial capital of the Copperbelt but the city has faced
drastic industrial decline since the early 1990s. The major sources of employment for
residents include government offices and parastatal / commercialised companies that include
ZAMTEL, ZESCO and ZANACO. Also, surviving industries include Bwana Mkubwa Mine,
SWARP and Mukuba Textiles. Trading within the informal sector has become the most
prevalent economic activity.

The following five retail outlets are included in the monthly Basic Needs Basket survey:
Masala Market, Mushili Market, Lubuto Market, Chifubu Market and Town Centre Shoprite.
The cost of living as measured by the BNB remains slightly more expensive than that in
neighbouring Kitwe, particularly due to higher costs of basic food items. This suggests that
distributors may now be bringing wholesale goods directly to Kitwe instead of Ndola. Also,
there does not seem to be much variation in costs across the four markets included in the
survey, but Shoprite prices appear slightly more expensive on most goods.

Kitwe

Many now consider Kitwe to be the thriving economic centre of the Copperbelt, primarily
because the mining industry has remained the mainstay of the economy. As with Ndola, the
government remains the largest formal employer in the town in terms of line ministries and
city council. As with the other cities, the primary economic activity of most residents remains
trading within the informal sector.

The following five retail outlets are included in the monthly Basic Needs Basket survey:
Chamboli Market, Nakadoli Market, Chimwemwe Market, Chisokone Market and Town
Centre Shoprite. As mentioned, costs within Kitwe are quite comparable to neighbouring
Ndola, yet remain slightly more affordable due to lower food costs. The data suggests that
Kitwe has become the central distribution point of the Copperbelt for some goods such as
kapenta and dry fish.

Luanshya

Luanshya is a town located on the Copperbelt that is relatively small in size compared to
both Kitwe and Ndola. The JCTR initially had no intention of including Luanshya within the
survey area, but rumours of a very sad socio-economic situation in the town compelled the
19
JCTR to visit. The economy of the town had revolved around copper mining, but the closure
of the Roan Antelope Mining Company of Zambia left thousands of workers without
employment. The Luanshya Mine has re-opened to employ approximately 1500 miners, on
permanent and casual basis. Poverty levels in the area are very high and most residents
survive through small-scale farming or petty trading.

The following five retail outlets are included in the monthly Basic Needs Basket survey:
Mpatamatu Market, Buseko Market, Roan Market, Mikomfwa Market and Town Centre
Shoprite. Overall, the cost of living in Luanshya remains the lowest among all six locations
especially because of the affordability of housing, utilities and some agricultural products.

Capacity Building

During the pilot-year of the Expanded Urban Basic Needs Basket, the JCTR helped build the
capacity of Field Researchers through four interactions. The Field Researchers were
contacted by the JCTR prior to a visit to each of these towns, and the first contact involved
cooperative selection of representative markets across each town in addition to an initial
BNB survey in each location.

Shortly after, the JCTR brought all of the Field Researchers together in Lusaka for a
workshop on methodology that included a hands-on training by the Lusaka Field Researcher
on the methodology of collecting prices. Returning from this workshop, all of the Field
Researchers began collecting monthly information in January of 2004.

For a third meeting, the Lusaka Field Researcher made monitoring visits between July and
October of 2004 to ensure consistency across all locations. One main observation made
during these trips was that there remained a number of uncertainties in methodology that
needed to be clarified before the Basic Needs Basket could be published outside Lusaka.

In response to this recommendation, a final workshop brought all six Field Researchers
together again in Lusaka during early December of 2004. Participants meticulously
discussed the rationale behind every item included in the basket in order to assure
consistency in spite of variations in markets across the country. Also, the discussions
yielded a fuller understanding of the usefulness of the BNB and the appropriate advocacy
strategy.

2.3 Future Rural Basket

In the third quarter of 2005 the JCTR began the process of taking the basket to the rural
areas to begin illuminating the challenges faced by the majority of Zambian families in
leading decent lives. Realising the drastic differences between life in the rural and urban
areas, in addition to the variation of customs and preferences across the provinces, the
expansion to rural areas requires widespread consultation and careful reflection. As of
January 2006, participatory meetings with rural communities and local leaders have been
conducted in Masaiti, Mfue and Mfumbwe districts. It is also the intention of the Social
Conditions Research Project to include one other rural community, likely in the Monse
district, within the pilot study. It is the realistic hope of the JCTR that Field Researchers in
four rural communities will be collecting quarterly information on the Rural Basket by mid-
2006, in order to begin publishing accurate glimpses of the rural struggle to meet basic
needs in 2007.

20
3.0 Basic Needs Basket Advocacy

The JCTR conducts the BNB to collect information on how cost of living affects Zambian
families, in order to advocate for changes in the ordering of society to promote a move from
less to more human conditions. Without this crucial dimension of advocacy, the BNB would
simply be another passive statistical exercise. The evolution of the JCTR Basket has been
guided by a commitment to making it more useful to people from all walks of life. The
following sections look at the BNB strategy of decentralised advocacy and the usefulness of
the basket to the many strategic stakeholders.

3.1 Advocacy Strategy

The JCTR has no intention of being at the forefront of all advocacy efforts using the Basic
Needs Basket, especially realising that the JCTR staff is located within Lusaka whereas
advocacy is taking place across all of the country. There even recently emerged a story of a
traditional chief using the BNB to encourage youths to remain in the village in light of the high
cost of living within urban areas! Thus, the advocacy effort is to be decentralised and
carried-out by strategic stakeholders that range from community groups to MPs to
researchers to trade unions. The JCTR will strive to provide both the fuel and a spark to
ignite fires of positive action across the nation.

The fuel produced by the JCTR is the monthly Basic Needs Basket and the other
publications that analyse trends in cost of living and help people better understand the
struggle to afford basic needs. The challenge for the JCTR is to package the data in the
appropriate manner for each specific stakeholder, so that the Zambian woman doesn’t
receive electricity to power her mbaula and the World Bank economist doesn’t receive 50
kilograms of charcoal for his oven! A few important considerations include language, format
and simplicity of the BNB data to assure each stakeholder the most success in
understanding and using the data for advocacy. The JCTR will continue with the collection of
cost of living data within Lusaka, within the Expanded Urban BNB towns and beginning in
2006 also within determined rural areas.

In 2005 the Social Conditions Research Project also began to create a “BNB Information
Package” to facilitate simpler explanations and more adequate understanding of the BNB.
The contents include this Comprehensive Overview of the JCTR Basket (now in its second
edition), a simple Policy Brief entitled “Zambia’s Unaffordable Cost of Basic Needs: Policy
Responses to Remedy this Systemic Evil,” another policy brief relating the BNB to the
employee entitled: “Vulnerability and the Employee: How to Restore Dignity to Employment
in Zambia?” and lastly, a collection of brochures that explain the unique usefulness of the
Basic Needs Basket to seven stakeholder groups, including Church Groups, Trade Unions,
Employers, Community Groups, NGOs, Government and Zambian Households.

No matter how much fuel, it takes a spark to create flames and an eventual fire! Therefore,
the JCTR takes on the role of proactively sparking BNB advocacy efforts at both the
grassroots and national level. The spark can take many forms, including workshops with
strategic stakeholders, interviews, feature newspaper articles, meetings with community
groups, phone calls to MPs, drama presentations and conversations with friends and family.

At the grassroots level, the main focus of the JCTR is to educate local leaders on cost of
living issues through widespread dissemination of simple BNB materials, especially the
monthly Basic Needs Basket for Lusaka, Livingstone, Ndola, Kitwe, Luanshya and Kabwe.
Each month, the JCTR mails 200 copies of the computed BNB data to the Field Researchers
in all urban areas, who in turn distribute the copies to Focal Persons, marketeers, interested
21
colleagues and other strategic stakeholders located within each of these towns. Also, the
JCTR hosts in-depth advocacy-training workshops on the Basic Needs Basket, during which
strategic stakeholders identify those roadblocks that hinder households from accessing basic
needs (e.g., poor wages, high utility bills, unproductive attitudes, etc.) and resolve to use the
BNB as one tool to help move people forward.

At the national level, the JCTR uses the Basic Needs Basket to directly engage with leaders
on national policy-issues and push for legislative changes to increase accessibility of basic
needs nationwide. In some instances, the spark at this national level takes on the form of a
presentation on basic needs to Members of Parliament, or a meeting with technocrats inside
or outside of Government concerning issues such as accessibility of social services,
weaknesses of the labour laws, the motivation of employees in Zambia or development of
curriculum for civic education. More often, the spark comes simply through a monthly press
statement that uses the basket to demonstrate how the prevailing political or socio-economic
events impact household ability to meet basic needs. By sparking fires at both a local and
national level, the Basic Needs Basket really turns up the heat on any person, institution or
policy standing between the Zambian people and accessibility of basic human needs.

3.2 Strategic Stakeholders

Basic Needs Basket advocacy must be decentralised and front-lined by strategic partners
from all walks of life, especially at the grassroots. Ideally, existing networks and groups of
people will embrace the BNB message and chose their own battles to fight using the cost of
living information. This section suggests the possible usefulness of the BNB to a wide-range
of strategic stakeholders. Hopefully your creativity will be sparked by one of the following
ideas!

• Persons: The ESSENTIAL stakeholders as possessors of human dignity


o BNB to awake individuals to the fact that they are enslaved by high living costs
o BNB to empower people with a sense of their human right to basic food and non-
food items and a decent standard of living
o BNB a testament to the systemic nature of high living costs and low availability of
opportunities (i.e. employment, decent housing, affordable education and health)
o BNB a tool for economic literacy (personal budgeting, understanding relationship
between the economy and the person)
o BNB a tool for civic education (understanding how socio-economic policies relate
to the people, encouraging responsible voting)

• Families: The cornerstone of the nation


o BNB a tool for family budgeting
o BNB a guide for a nutritional family diet
o BNB a shopping list
o BNB a wish list for families to strive towards
o BNB an encouragement for paying just wages to support staff (maid, guard,
gardener, etc.)

• Communities: The most grassroots level of organisation


o BNB a guide in negotiation of appropriate levies for health, water, electricity,
education, waste management, sanitation
o BNB a tool to be used by community members to keep local councils accountable
o BNB an entry-point to training for transformation (allow a community to identify
own problems in light of BNB and develop own solutions)

22
• Religious Organisations: The moral foundation spanning every district of Zambia
o BNB to keep religious leaders in touch with living conditions of members
o BNB to help religious leaders stress dignity of the human person, sanctity of work
and importance of a faith that seeks justice
o BNB a guide to setting appropriate membership fees
o BNB an encouragement to paying just wages to all employees of church / mosque
o BNB a monthly topic of discussion for small Christian communities

• Employers: The source of income to many households


o BNB to provide a neutral, factual representation of living costs of employees
o BNB a basis for conducting wage reviews
o BNB an encouragement to pay just, family wages for employees

• Private Sector: The emerging prime employer and provider of goods and services
o BNB to encourage discussion and practice of business ethics within the sector
o BNB to help private companies understand Zambian markets across the country
o BNB to help companies set suitable prices in accordance with willingness to pay
o BNB to spark entrepreneurship by showing current market preferences and costs

• Formal Employees: The minority of the working population earning regular salaries
o BNB to provide objective assessment of cost of living for wage negotiations
o BNB as a platform to lobby for changes in PAYE exemption rate and tax brackets
o BNB as evidence of the wide gap between cost of living and the take home pay of
many formal employees
o BNB as empowerment to the working poor
o BNB as a measure of entitlement to families of workers injured or killed on the job

• Informal Workers: The majority of the working population earning unpredictable income
o BNB as basis to negotiate for a living wage from informal employers
o BNB to help informal employees formulate small-scale business ventures
o BNB to encourage informal sector workers to organise into associations

• Traders: The middlemen moving goods from producers to vendors


o BNB a guide to prices across markets and clue to finding profitable routes
o BNB as challenge to traders to pay and sell fairly to both producers and vendors

• Marketeers: The vendors of most basic food items to urban families


o BNB a guide to setting appropriate prices within a city
o BNB as input into the organisation of marketeers in a just manner
o BNB a device to challenge unjust tariffs or taxes within a market

• Small-Scale Farmers: The producers of most basic food items for urban consumers
o BNB to generate awareness of preferences and prices within urban markets
o BNB a tool for developing strategies to mitigate the effects of price seasonality
o BNB as encouragement to diversify crops beyond maize
o BNB a call for farmers to organise themselves into cooperatives in order to
effectively manage maize crop

23
• Unions: The strong, organised voice of wage earners
o BNB a negotiating tool to encourage compromise between both parties
o BNB as demonstration of the importance of non-wage benefits such as fair
housing allowance, health care and transportation
o BNB as moral foundation to justify a worker strike
o BNB as a tool to educate workers on how best to use wages to meet basic needs

• Media Houses: The primary disseminators of contemporary information to the people


o BNB to generate monthly public discussion on the problem of high cost of living
o BNB to inform people of their human right to basic needs such as food and shelter
o BNB to bring cost of living perspective to all public debates
o BNB as theme of creative programmes that simplify socio-economic issues

• Government: The authors, implementers and enforcers of policies to benefit the people
o BNB as link between leaders and the people struggling to earn a decent living
o BNB as challenge to the prioritisation of ministry expenditure
o BNB as discussion-tool between MPs and constituents to inspire formation of
effective, pro-poor legislation
o BNB as specific call to address ineffective agricultural policies, lack of a holistic
plan for development or job creation, excessive rural to urban migration,
inadequate housing in urban areas, insufficient strategic grain reserves, absence
of a minimum wage law, a low PAYE tax exemption rate, high inflation rates
o BNB as call for wages and allowances that are neither too high nor too low

• Utilities: The suppliers of energy and water for a growing portion of the population
o BNB as guide to setting appropriate tariffs across different urban communities
o BNB as evidence of growing deforestation around urban centres

• Political Parties: The ideological foundation of present and future leaders


o BNB to encourage party manifestoes to address cost of living issues
o BNB to challenge political squabbles as wasteful and out-of-touch
o BNB a talking-point during elections

• Health Care Workers: The frontline nurturers of the physical well-being of the people
o BNB as illustration of poverty’s contribution to the spread of HIV/AIDS
o BNB as input in creating holistic health care plan for the nation
o BNB to help set affordable fees for needy parents
o BNB testament to the inability of families to afford preventative health measures

• Councils: The most grassroots government representatives of community needs


o BNB as basis for consulting communities on particular needs and challenges
o BNB as tool to help Resident Development Committees set priorities
o BNB as input into setting affordable local tariffs

• Educators: The primary conveyers of knowledge to the people


o BNB as illustration of the importance of family-planning
o BNB as teaching aid for lessons on budgeting, nutrition, economics, etc.
o BNB to support demand for adequate wages and non-wage benefits

24
• Students: The most widespread, dynamic source of human potential in society
o BNB as spark to parents and PTAs to demand a better education system
o BNB as input into agreement upon appropriate PTA fees for students
o BNB as testament to how challenges at the home hinder classroom learning

• NGOs: The government watchdogs and projects of compassion for the people
o BNB to help NGOs understand the present challenges faced by the people and
when and how to intervene
o BNB as one tool to hold government accountable to its promises and priorities
o BNB as challenge to the excessive spending in some government ministries
o BNB as measure of the impact of external debt and trade imbalances on people
o BNB as tool to teach rural and urban people about ESC rights, the cause of
strikes, etc

• Micro-Finance Institutions: The lenders of money for investment in the future


o BNB to provide understanding of safe, effective loans to entrepreneurial people
o BNB to suggest effectiveness of seasonal loans or subsidies to farmers and others

• Researchers: The collectors of information for prudent action and decision-making


o BNB as a city-specific “basic needs inflation rate”
o BNB as historical record of the simultaneous rise in living costs and decline in
human development indicators
o BNB as input into studies comparing wages to the cost of living
o BNB to help researchers make recommendations to all levels of society on cost of
living issues

• International Organisations: The pipeline of resources for the betterment of the nation
o BNB as historical evidence of the Structural Adjustment Programme’s harsh
impact on the well-being of the people
o BNB as challenge to the IMF to provide targeted interjection of grants to benefit the
most poor and vulnerable people in society
o BNB as input into the creation and implementation of World Bank projects
o BNB as information for UNICEF, UNDP, UNAIDS, UNRS and other UN offices to
further understanding of the Zambian context and implement appropriate projects
o BNB as more informative measure of poverty than the abstract “dollar a day”
o BNB as understandable overview of Zambia’s struggles for bilateral donors
considering whether or not to give aid

• Chiefs: The most immediate leadership of the majority of rural people


o BNB as a warning of high living costs to those considering leaving for a city
o BNB a guide for organising villagers to sell produce when price is high

25
Appendix A: Press Releases

• Summary of Each Press Release

• Press Releases from 1999 to 2005


Summary of Press Releases on the Food Basket and Basic Needs Basket from 1999 through 2005
Basket
Month Headline Summary
(Kwacha)
Basket Rises to Increase of Basket by 22.4% since 1998 / Wages have remained stagnant /
Jan-99 240,920
Over K240,000 JCTR endorses call of CCJDP to set the base rate for PAYE at K200,000
Food Basket / We agree with the President's statement that wages below K200,000 are
Mar-99 252,160 Bread Line on the scandalous / Base Rate for pay must be at least K250,000 / IMF & WB must
Rise understand that pay increases are needed to restore dignity to the worker

Price decline of K7500 this month / This does not mean notable
improvement in lives of Lusaka residents / Wages for a Civil Servant are only
Cost of Food
K100,000 to K150,000 / Medium density housing is between K130,000 and
Basket Declines:
K180,000 for 2 rooms / Electricity is between K70,000 and K100,000 / Water
Aug-99 243,100 But Will
is approximately K25,000 / Removal of street vendors from Lusaka will also
Livelihoods
decrease family wages / The overall socio-economic picture is grim,
Improve?
heightened by concern over the sale of mines / However, the prospect of
debt cancellation gives some hope of more resources becoming available
Prices have declined 3 consecutive months / Decrease due to higher maize
Lower Food Prices supply, strengthening of Kwacha, decrease in official inflation rate from 31%
Sep-99 239,840 But Not Higher to 27% / Also, demand has decreased as people cannot afford commodities /
Food Consumption UNICEF report says per capita consumption of maize decreased from 153.2
kg in 90/91 to 123.3 kg in 96/97
Fluctuations in prices correspond to changes in cost of seasonal goods such
as mealie meal / The lowest cost of food for the year was recorded in
Analysis of the
September / Mealie meal is high due to low stocks / Meat is high because of
Dec-99 257,480 Cost of Food
holiday demand / Increases in soap possibly due to depreciation of the
Basket in 1999
Kwacha / Transportation has increased due to fuel hikes / No increase in
incomes over same period, therefore wages are less in real terms
Release of 2000 National Budget has stirred much debate / Rising cost of
living mandates a commitment to poverty reduction / In December 99, JCTR
The Social
undertook a study to compare prices amidst low, medium & high density
Jan-00 263,370 Dimension of The
areas / Price varied depending on distance from city centre and demand /
Food Basket
Mealie meal is actually cheaper in low-density areas due to lower demand /
Yet, purchasing power also affects price: meat higher in low density areas
Minimum Wage Chiluba's recent demand for a K200,000 Minimum Wage is not enough /
Should Be Much Government is unable to raise worker wages due to IMF conditionalities /
Mar-00 272,810
More than Sharp increases in fuel last week will shoot prices higher / Poverty level
K200,000 stands at 73% according to the LCMS / It all comes down to political will
JCTR Says High
The current Social Crisis must be addressed by government in the upcoming
Cost of Living
Consultative Group (CG) meetings / Crisis apparent in inability of majority of
Manifests
Zambians to access health, education, clean water, shelter, balanced diets /
Jun-00 277,870 Worsening Social
Price increase related to depreciation of Kwacha from K2900/$ to K3110/$ /
Crisis and
Maize is the exception due to high supply at this time of year / Prevailing
Challenges of CG
salaries are well below the basket / Poverty Reduction must be #1
Meeting
Widening Gap
Between Food JCTR shares the view with FFTUZ that manifestoes of political parties must
Basket and be made available / The # 1 issue that should be addressed is living
Aug-00 272,305 Salaries: What Do conditions in relation to gap between cost of the food basket and household
Political Party income / Having food is one of the cardinal issues in people's lives and
Manifestoes Have citizens should critically assess political parties on this basis
to Offer?
JCTR concerned about the social implications of the Free Trade Area to take
COMESA's Free effect at the end of the month / Will it lead to reduced revenue from duty
Sep-00 278,375 Trade Area and Its collected and reduced funding of social sectors? / Or a raise in taxes? / This
Social Implications is risky in light of widening gap between food costs and income / The
government should not leave the impacts to chance!
Food Basket Cost Parliament is now re-convening for the final time this year / They need to
Shoots UP: JCTR enact immediate and intermediate measures to mitigate suffering of the
Calls upon people caused by rising cost of living / This month’s increase is due to a rise
Oct-00 290,310 Parliament to in fuel, depreciation of Kwacha & increase in inflation / Though causes may
Seriously Look at be external, there is need to look at domestic interventions / Can the gov’t
the Rising Cost of minimise taxes on fuel? / New budget must be pro-poor / It should abolish
Living school fees, improve agricultural policy, direct money to health sector, etc.

Large jump in cost is due to a rapid depreciation of the Kwacha by 16% in


Year 2000 Winds
November / Price increases over the year are mainly due to depreciation of
up With a Very
the Kwacha and fuel hikes / Smaller increase in price related to supply of
High Increase in
Dec-00 312,695 maize / Average inflation for 2000 was approximately 30% compared to the
Cost of Food
19% predicted in 2000 Budget / 3 policy recommendations: 1) Government
Basket Observes
should attempt to mitigate spikes in cost of living 2) Need for pro-poor budget
JCTR
3) Agricultural sector must be improved to curve increases in food costs
Kwacha Since GRZ took measures to address depreciation, Kwacha has returned to
Appreciates But K3500/$ from K4500/$ / JCTR commends government / Yet, prices of food
Jan-01 319,870 Prices Remain did not move / Targeting the Kwacha alone is insufficient to help people /
High, Observes 2001 National Budget has theme "Empowering People for Prosperity" /
JCTR People must be the key players in economy / Economic empowerment
Attaining development goals needs constant monitoring and focus of
JCTR Calls For priorities / Focus must be on integral development / Cost of living is
Sharper Focus On increasing while Human Development Indicators are stagnate or decreasing
Feb-01 328,080
Development / Formulating PRSP is important to determining blueprint for national
Issues development within the free market economy / Calling on national leaders to
focus pragmatically on issues that are pertinent to suffering of the people
Price Stability, Varied trend in food prices as we move into 2nd Quarter / Meat and wash-
Decrease and soap are up while mealie meal, cooking oil, eggs & salt are down / Charcoal
Mar-01 335,300 Increase has recorded high increase due to the rains / Even with electricity, women
characterise Food still dependent upon charcoal for beans, kapenta, etc. / A strengthened
Basket Kwacha has not had much impact on food costs
Apr-01 340,720 No Statement
Slightly lower prices in mealie meal and charcoal this month / CSO reports in
Food Basket Cost Living Conditions Preliminary Report of 1998 that only 42% of household
Slightly income comes directly from regular salaries / Wages have not increased
Decreases; JCTR proportionally to rising cost of living / Sensitivity to wages founded in CST:
May-01 329,400
Calls for Sincere humans have inherent dignity and workers are not "commodities" / The basis
Negotiations in of a well-ordered society is the family / Wages are central in household well-
Current Situation being / Since 1891 church has supported trade unions and strikes / JCTR
hopes for desirable resolution of current strikes
MoFNP mid-year review: Predicted inflation at 17.5% & actual inflation at
JCTR Urges 22.2% / Predicted growth rate at 5% and actual is lower / Meeting these
Government to Go targets is important, but equally important is relationship to cost of living /
Jun-01 328,570 Beyond Meeting Food basket dependent on inflation and Kwacha valuation / Taking into
Projected account non-food costs to households, the basket would be much higher /
Economic Targets Discouraging that though we are moving towards curbing inflation to
predicted level, there is no impact on rate of increasing cost of living
Total increase of basket linked to rises in mealie meal / It is unlikely that
Cost of JCTR
recent wage increases account for increases in cost of living / Wages must
Food Basket
Jul-01 332,520 be continually reviewed / Wages should be paid on time / Money allocated to
Records Slight
payment of council arrears must not be diverted / Household security
Increase
remains very dependent upon wages
JCTR Food Basket
Records Huge Price jump linked primarily to mealie meal / The recently negotiated salary
Increase: increments are already becoming outdated / The proportion of household
Aug-01 348,500 Proportion of expenditure on food items must now increase at expense of expenditure on
Household health, education, etc. / 1998 Living Conditions Preliminary Report found that
Expenditure on households average 59% expenditure on food items
Mealie Meal Rises
High cost of living is increasingly difficult to cope with / Though the increase
is small, it is significant on strained households / Political sensitivity is lacking
Lack of Political
/ Why are there no maize stocks to prevent current rise in mealie meal / No-
Sensitivity to Cost
Sep-01 357,300 one is talking about addressing the cost of living / Following September 11,
of Living Worries
the global economy will slow down, with increasing fuel costs and decreasing
JCTR
copper prices / There is need for proper forecasting of economic and social
problems / Gov’t must establish measures to mitigate impacts ahead of time

Calling for adequate preparation for agriculture season through provision of


Appropriate and
inputs / Zambia should not need to input maize unless there is drought / Poor
Prompt Policy
agricultural performance increases the cost of living / Look at the current
Oct-01 358,400 Responses in
maize stocks and realise the poor policy response of government / A double
Agriculture Vital,
drought prevails: policy drought with little response to meeting farmers needs
Observes JCTR
and actual rainfall drought / Not addressing 1st drought exacerbates the 2nd

High Cost of Living Zambians are facing additional hardships due to high cost of living as
Should be an political campaigns intensify / Mealie meal has led to the current increase in
Essential Focus the food basket / A 25 kg bag has reached K29,100 in Lusaka, with rumours
Nov-01 377,300
For Political of K50,000 prevailing in other parts of the country / Politicians must address
Campaigns, Says two important issues: 1) Agriculture and industry 2) Creation of employment
JCTR with adequate wages / Candidates must address these issues!

Two issues are prominent at the end of 2001: tripartite elections and
deterioration in living conditions / The first has passed while the second is
Reflections on the
still with us / The current rise in living costs can be attributed to nothing but
Year 2001: JCTR
poor planning on agricultural side / Mealie meal has sky-rocketed / The food
Dec-01 379,390 Food Basket and
basket increased 19% over one year while the inflation rate was 17% /
Needs of the
Tackling inflation is only half the picture: employment & agriculture are on the
Zambian People
other side / Rural communities depend upon mealie meal from the cities /
Next year looks grim / New administration must provide rational planning
January 2002 marks the first major changes in 6-year history of the basket /
From Food Basket
The changes are in response to recommendations received from many users
to Basic Needs
of the basket, including trade unions, women’s groups, nutritionists, the
Basket: JCTR
CSO, academia and the media / Cost of living has continued to affect
Jan-02 829,250 Effort for More
household consumption in terms of quantity and nutrition / JCTR has found it
Accurate and
imperative to make BNB more nutritionally sound / The BNB with both food
Adequate Cost of
and non-food costs seems astronomically high, but it is realistic / Additional
Living Estimates
sampling areas are also included / Comparability of old and new data is lost
Budget has been applauded as one of the best Zambia has ever had, but
JCTR recognizes the challenge of achieving intended goals / Meeting the
Basic Needs basic needs of the people is the one true measure of a good budget / Slight
Basket Challenges decline in the BNB is due to reduction in charcoal cost as rainfall has
Feb-02 823,510
the 2002 National decreased / JCTR observes that the proposed K150,000 tax exemption mark
Budget falls far below basic needs / The tax-base must be broadened instead of
strangling the average Zambian / JCTR applauds attention in budget to the
agriculture sector / Now, there is need for close budget tracking
Government must immediately clarify position on school fees / Though MoE
Clarify Position on has abolished school fees, MoFNP has pronounced that fees must be paid
School Fees, until budgetary concerns are worked out / "Will the Poor Go To School" has
Mar-02 824,600
JCTR Urges shown that cost sharing has negative consequences / Households are
Government spending on primary education twice what government is allocating / The
school fees at upper basic and secondary level remain unaffordable
High cost of living is reproducing poverty in such a way that many Zambians
will not be able to come out of it / The coping strategies mentioned by CSO
JCTR Says High (1998) are not sustainable: reduction in number of daily meals, borrowing,
Cost of Living non-conventional meals, etc. / Cost of food alone remains out of reach of
Apr-02 825,500 Enhancing average family at K300,000 / Mealie meal remains high since 2001 / As
Reproduction of Labour Day is celebrated, we must look at conditions of labourers in Zambia
Poverty / People are not only the means but the purpose of development / Economic
develop must enhance and not diminish human dignity / Human dignity
should be consideration of current negotiations of Anglo-American at KCM
JCTR Encouraged Disaster has been called in light of looming hunger situation / Reports are
by Government being made that maize will run out in some parts of the country by June /
Declaration of a The current drought is the culprit in addition to past food shortages / Winter
May-02 814,350 National Disaster, maize project may help, but wider alternatives must be considered / We must
But Calls for also look at insecurity of rural families who are forced to hunger by one bad
Looking Beyond crop / Wider issues include unemployment and low wages / JCTR is hopeful
Current Situation that the declaration of government will allow households to access food

Upcoming meeting between Zambia and Donors / Current context of meeting


Consultative includes challenges across all sectors of society and the economy / One of
Group Meeting greatest challenges that has large repercussion on these sectors is the high
Challenged by cost of living / With the high standing cost of basic food items, other
Jun-02 827,950
JCTR to Look at household needs are not being met / The average teacher salary is between
Cost of Basic K280,000 and K309,000 / There are rumours that mealie meal has reached
Needs K37,000 in Copperbelt province, which is affected by high unemployment /
JCTR hopeful about the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP)
Food crises is marked by discussions of GMOs, hunger, winter irrigation, etc.
JCTR Says / Since households spend most of money on food, the crises is very big /
Finding Current There is prevalent under-nourishment as wages remain below the cost of
and Future basic needs / The BNB monitors life in Lusaka, but the rural areas are the
Jul-02 831,350
Sustainable hardest hit by hunger / Winter efforts to grow maize are theoretically
Solutions to Food promising, but the measures for winter irrigation may not benefit the poor /
Crises Imperative Poor rural households must also have opportunities for winter maize
production / All households must be enabled through higher incomes

The BNB provides a clear picture of the suffering of the poor in light of the
hunger situation / The average cost of food is K324,500, whereas the
average take home pay of a civil servant is K270,000 to K370,000 / The
The Why, What
purpose of the BNB is to promote economic and social justice by advocating
and How
for changes in policies that inhibit attainment of sustainable and equitable
Aug-02 821,800 Questions about
livelihoods for all Zambian households / The BNB shows bare minimum
the JCTR Basic
requirements for survival / Income deprivation has wide implications by
Needs Basket
limiting people's choices / What are the cost implications of a reasonable or
decent living if the BNB only highlights bare minimum costs? / An important
aspect of development is the enhancement of quality of life

Political debates have distracted us from the critical question of looking at


Food Costing
people's needs / Sustainable development is hindered by inflation, hunger,
K326,500: JCTR
unemployment, poor socio-economic situation, etc. / These issues should be
Says Current
central to public debates / The same intensity of current political debates
Sep-02 825,100 Political Debates
should be carried over to socio-economic debates / Access to food is both a
Should Also
means and an end of development / JCTR in conjunction with KATC is
Address Socio-
looking at hunger and the GMO debate and advocating for sustainable food
Economic Realities
security of the people through good agricultural practices

Cost of living may be higher in other parts of the country, especially those
JCTR Basic Needs
with serious food deficits such as the South / As the Bank of Zambia notes,
Basket Report
the cost of living is a reflection of the current problems of inflation, scarcity of
Oct-02 836,550 Reveals an All-
food & depreciation of the Kwacha / The poor are bearing the harshest
Time High Cost of
consequences of these GRZ problems / The poor must be uplifted through
Living in Lusaka
government policies that address these problems

Zambia has vast potential and should not be facing the current socio-
economic situation / Difficulties reflect poor prioritisation, inadequacies in
More Efforts
policy design, failure in programme implementation, etc. / The situation must
Needed at
be addressed in a more pragmatic and holistic manner / The recently
Addressing
Nov-02 863,400 announced fuel increases will further increase all costs / Increase in Nov
Zambia's Imminent
BNB due to mealie meal, meat & charcoal / Mealie meal is higher in other
Deeper Social
parts of the country / December and January will be difficult months for many
Crises, Says JCTR
due to the drought / JCTR expresses strong compassion and solidarity with
the people / Priority number one of everyone must be coping with the crises
The past 12 months have seen serious deterioration of social conditions of
most Zambian people / This is result of long-standing problems, and
setbacks such as drought and the pull out of Anglo-American from KCM /
The problems re-enforce themselves in ways that make solutions difficult /
Most of the country's economic reform programmes (imposed by the IMF
Year 2002
and WB) have failed / Kwacha has been on a downward spiral (K3500 to
Characterised by
K5000 in the year) due to non-productivity of the economy (especially mining
Dec-02 887,550 Disturbing Social
and manufacturing) / Most increases in cost of food due were due to
Challenges,
increases in mealie meal / Zambia has failed to meet its macro-economic
Observes JCTR
targets (13% inflation and 4.3% growth) / The country also faces political
uncertainty with pending presidential and parliamentary election petitions / It
is feared that the prevailing high prices will set the tone of what is to come
next year / Upcoming war in Middle East will surely increase petrol prices / A
people-centred economy is one moving towards goals in sectors of MDGs

Cost of living shows a sharp increase beyond reach of most households / All
People's food commodities have increased since December / Many increases are due
Hardships to difficulty growing vegetables in the rains / Also, there has been a sharp
Jan-03 1,029,150 Heightened: Basic increase in rentals over the past few months / The K160,000 PAYE tax
Needs Cost a exemption seems very inadequate / Government is making attempts to
Million, Says JCTR broaden the tax base, but the PAYE threshold is inadequate / VAT ensures
that the more people have, the more they will pay on taxes due to purchases

Work stoppages must be resolved in ways that address needs of both the
employees and the employers / This two-way relationship has often not been
beneficial to employees / The high levels of unemployment provide a fertile
Government Must
ground for exploitative tendencies on part of employers / It must be re-
Resolve Threats of
iterated that the BNB does not paint the full picture of a human wage, for it
Feb-03 1,035,300 Current Work
excludes cost of health, personal care, transport and education / The current
Stoppages Justly,
teacher demand of K 1.5 Million seems high, but the take-home pay would
Says JCTR
remain less than the BNB / Deterioration of living conditions results from
prolonged economic policy failure (external and internal) / The ability to meet
basic needs is a human right to be addressed in constitutional review

The BNB continues to show that high demands are being placed on families
to meet daily needs / Teacher demands for K1.5 million are well-justified /
Civil Servant demands are justified because they are based on cost of living
and quality of life indicators / Frankly speaking, the issue is not resources but
JCTR Links Cost
priorities / Mis-expenditure includes expensive travel, large motorcades,
Mar-03 1,033,750 of Living Issues
benefits for government officials, funding of political parties, high defence
with War in Iraq
spending / The effect of the Iraq war will be felt strongly in Zambia due to
increase in oil prices, diverted aid resources, delays in debt relief and
political instability / The JCTR joins the cry that the war is immoral and
unjust, especially as it jeopardises international peace and UN credibility

Holistic and decentralised rather than sectoral and centralised approaches


are key to effective and equitable delivery of health services / "Health Status
and Health Equity" report has been launched / For example, Chongwe
District, despite being in the overall healthiest province of Lusaka has higher
Holistic and incidence of mortality and illness compared to Mongu, the capital of the most
Decentralised deprived province / We need better supplied health facilities / Expenditure on
Approaches healthcare is often a trade-off with expenditure on education and food / The
Critical to worst affected households are those headed by females / Gender inequity
Apr-03 1,030,850
Efficiency and and HIV/AIDS seriously hinder development / No country develops without a
Equity in Health healthy and well-educated population / The study recommends that: 1)
Services, Says Development programmes cannot be centralised, 2) Health needs must be
JCTR addressed with holistic approach realising link of health with nutrition, food,
education, etc., 3) Development initiatives should implement "Poverty +
Health (HIV/AIDS)" programmes, 4) Cost-sharing exemptions cannot be
based solely on monetary aspects of a family, and 5) Healthcare and poverty
reduction interventions must target female-headed households
JCTR urges for equal talk from government on politics and food / Providing
JCTR Urges for three meals a day remains biggest challenge for most households / Mealie
"Food on the meal has decreased slightly, yet vegetables have failed to decrease / One
Table" Discussions marketeer commented that vegetables have failed to decrease in price this
May-03 1,028,650
to be as Key as May as they normally do / The take-home pay of nurses and teachers
Political remains far below the cost of living / The JCTR urges for "politics of poverty"
Discussions rather than a "poverty of politics" / We need leaders who focus on the
survival of the people and not the survival of politicians
In light of an anticipated budget overrun, government must decide whether to
Government Must
honour payments to government employees or deny them in hopes of future
Put Human
economic prosperity in the country / The conditions of employees, as the
Interest at the
means and end of development, must be taken into consideration and the
Jun-03 1,012,100 Centre of the
wages must be paid / Prescribed economic solutions have not brought
Current Problem of
substantial curative action / JCTR calls for human considerations when
Budget Overrun,
dealing with the budget overrun / With better management, higher wages
Says the JCTR
could be paid to all workers and the government could still avoid an overrun
One of the key benefits of focusing on agriculture (especially sustainable
maize production) is the positive impact on cost of living / There must be a
JCTR Basic Needs good balance between paying the producers of maize justly and keeping
Basket Records costs low / The price decrease could be due to small-scale farmers selling off
Jul-03 1,005,400 Low Mealie Meal maize at a low price because of no options for storage / Some may even sell
Price, Other Food at price lower than the recommended "floor price" of K30,000 due to
Items Remain High pressing household needs / There is a very slight overall decrease in price /
The BNB highlights daily challenge of households to have sustainable
livelihoods / Current civil servant negotiations must consider the BNB
JCTR BNB BNB shows relationship between household income and requirements for
Costing basic human survival / Mealie meal is slightly up / Charcoal is slightly down /
Aug-03 1,014,500
K1,014,500 in the The JCTR hopes that decreases in cost of fuel will make a positive impact on
Month of August the cost of living

Zambia needs a strategic economic focus that will translate into improved
living conditions, including access to employment, a nutritious diet, quality
Politics of
education and health care / Addressing the national economy should be
Improving the
seen as a political issue / The Zambian people continue to face the problem
Economy Key to
of high cost of living / Many households have already sold cattle due to poor
Sep-03 1,027,450 Finding Solutions
agricultural performance, which has led to shortage of cattle and an increase
to Zambia's
in the price of meat / Zambia lacks enabling conditions for development and
Problems, Says
a culture of creativity and initiative / But people must be relieved from the
the JCTR
daily struggle to meet basic needs in order to develop / The JCTR is hopeful
that focus will move to socio-economic issues as promised by Mwanawasa

A consultative budget process is critical to national development / As the


nation proceeds under the MTEF, the budget must reflect sound projections
The JCTR for the working of the economy / The MTEF is based on a prediction that
Observes that inflation will decrease to 6% in 2006 & that growth will be 4.5% in 2004 and
Realistic Economic 5% in 2005 / Favourable copper prices should contribute to growth /
Oct-03 1,031,700
Projections Vital to Realising that a plunge in copper prices contributed to the debt rises, it is
Effective National hopeful that the government will not fail to diversify the economy / The most
Planning negative aspect of inflation is the continuous rise in basic food items / Prices
tend to rise at the end of the year / The MTEF is long overdue, but hopefully
its economic projections are feasible
There should not be a trade-off between meeting people's needs such as
Debate on the health and education and the holding of a Constituent Assembly / Subjecting
Mode of Adopting such a debate to tradeoffs fails to link the need for a good constitution with
the Constitution ability of people to meet their needs / Mealie meal has contributed to a price
Nov-03 1,032,800 Should Not be decrease / Charcoal has risen in cost because of rains / There is a difficult
Subjected to a question of addressing current poverty and the need for a constituent
Trade-off, Says assembly that can lead to future economic freedom / There is need for a
JCTR people's constitution / If trade-off is necessary, social services should not be
cut, but only expenditure on vehicles, travels, etc.
In 2003 there was some improvement in the agriculture sector which resulted
in adequate food production for Zambian people / Other sectors experienced
problems, especially education / Other positives include lower inflation
levels, stability in the price of mealie meal & less devaluation of the Kwacha /
But good food production and access to food are two different things / BNB
highlights the difficulty an average person has in meeting minimum standard
of living / The Basket increased in the second half of the year due to
increases in meat and fish along with green vegetables / There were
A Mix of A Ray of
remarkable decreases in the cost of food during June and July / The teacher
Hope and Some
strike over wages has had a negative impact on prospects of development /
Setbacks: The
Dec-03 1,050,400 The teachers had good intentions for strikes / The following points are
Zambian People's
important to note in regard to call for "sacrifice:" 1) Successes in agriculture
Experiences in
are due to provision of inputs counter to the advice of IMF and WB, 2)
2003
National “sacrifice” must lead to beneficial outcomes for the poor and not a
decrease in funding to social services, 3) Zambia should strive to build a
society where people can meet needs and make savings for harder times, 4)
Instead of increasing taxes, employment should be created, 5) There is need
for an industrial strategy to benefit through trade, and 6) The international
community must exercise greater flexibility with conditionalities, such as the
ones associated with the HIPC completion point / "Sacrifice" should not
cause disproportionate suffering to the already vulnerable society

The 2004 Budget is premised on meeting the HIPC completion point /


Therefore, the budget is narrow in responding to other areas such as
employment creation, health and education, poverty reduction, etc. / The
JCTR Says 2004 process of instituting austerity measures to achieve the completion point
Budget Premised must not negatively impact people to the extent that they never recover / The
on HIPC and May development strategy must be broad and inclusive, especially including the
Jan-04 1,065,900
Permanently poor / Tax threshold has been shifted to K260,000, whereas the cost of food
Disadvantage alone is now 409,000 / Also, AIDS orphans have increased the burden to
Some People families / Government should have paid more attention to the education
sector by ensuing all trained teachers were given jobs in understaffed
schools / Government should address its top-heavy structure that includes
an oversized cabinet and the costly office of the District Commissioner

Humanity is an ends and a means to development / Policy formulation and


evaluation should be grounded in a value framework / Decent standards of
living are beyond most households / The situation would be better if
A Value and
government had a sound value framework / These values would not allow
Ethical Framework
the government to accept the status quo with the majority of Zambians
Critical to
unable to have a decent standard of living / The international and national
Feb-04 1,078,750 Designing
community has continually set targets for uplifting the welfare of the people,
Development
but these have not been met / Development is a move from less to more
Policies, Says the
human conditions / Delay in development means increases in HIV/AIDS, lack
JCTR
of access to health and education, lack of food and suffering / These
conditions threaten the peace of the country / Can we evaluate the past few
years of development failures on the basis of human considerations?

The JCTR has expanded the BNB coverage area in order to be more
representative of the national urban situation of cost of living and more
JCTR Basket authoritative in discussions regarding cost of living / These towns have
Coverage similar characteristics as Lusaka and the basket will maintain the same
Expanded to composition / Cost of food is highest in Luanshya at K447,100 compared to
Include K418,550 in Lusaka / This is serious realising the poor economy of
Mar-04 1,094,100
Livingstone, Luanshya, with high cost of food having health and education implications
Kabwe, Ndola, due to poor nutrition and poor ability to excel in school / BNB is not merely a
Luanshya and statistical exercise but basis for responding to improve lives of Zambians /
Kitwe The basket is an entry point for exploring socio-economic policies that will
benefit the people / The government and IMF should asses Zambia's
qualification for the PRGF in light of the context of the needs of the people
A holistic approach to health delivery is essential in light of current HIV/AIDS
crises / Good nutrition at household level is essential to the prevention and
treatment of HIV/AIDS / Health does not only include treatment of an illness
Nutrition Should be but the whole array of living conditions of a person / A majority of households
Central to AIDS spend most of their income on food, which does not imply good nutrition but
Apr-04 1,110,150 Treatment merely that families are struggling to survive / Inadequate incomes have
Discussions, Says disproportionately strained women as the household managers and primary
JCTR caregivers in the home-based care system / Lack of income is the denial of a
good psychological home environment to support AIDS patients / In order to
tackle HIV/AIDS, government needs a holistic approach ensuring access to
education, nutrition, etc. / ARV recipients must also receive good nutrition

Overcoming the socio-economic challenges, (e.g., malnutrition at household


level especially in children, HIV/AIDS, inadequate health care and education,
unemployment, insufficient household income) requires more than lip service
/ Resource prioritisation is the key / Failure to meet development goals can
JCTR Says
be attributed to a lack of strong commitment to translate plans into real
Commitment is
May-04 1,113,900 action / Meetings at national and international level on poverty have failed
Central to Uplifting
the people / There has been a slight reduction in the mealie meal price / The
People's Lives
PRSP and the MDGs should be viewed as critical challenges from a moral,
economic, social and political viewpoint / Sacrifices should be made / Strong
commitments realising dignity of the human person are necessary to uplift
the poor, especially women / We need a value foundation for development
Luanshya is an urban area with one of the highest costs of living in Zambia,
based on three months of data / Households in Luanshya are experiencing
the most difficulty in meeting their basic requirements, but all urban areas
have high costs of living / Unless there are fundamental changes in the
Basic Needs
structuring of the social, political and economic affairs, people will never be
Basket Reveals
able to meet basic human requirements / In face of inadequate resources,
Jun-04 1,118,700 that Luanshya is
there is poor prioritisation of expenditure / The governance system has failed
High Cost of Living
to catalyse patriotism towards a good work ethic / This is why there is little
Area
success calling for debt cancellation / PRSP and past plans are not
effectively implemented / There must be investment in people / Citizens
should give input towards the 2005 budget and push politicians to pay
attention to the serious socio-economic issues affecting the livelihoods of all

Reports that 90,000 pensioners will lose what they deserve is highly
objectionable, for it epitomizes a violation of human rights by denying the
security of the elderly / Pensioners continually face hard times due to
bureaucratic delays in receiving pensions / This injustice is taking place in
Situation of the context of high cost of living and high gratuities paid to MPs / Pensioners
Pensioners, Fuel wait long periods of time while inflation erodes the value of the money / High
Jul-04 1,105,100
Prices Increase unemployment levels are forcing workers to accept exploitative working
Worry of JCTR conditions / Failure to pay these workers is unacceptable / We need to care
about each other / The current situation is reminiscent of the days of
colonialism when there was no social conscience / Zambia should strive for a
political, social and economic order that places the well being of humans
above all else / The street kids include more than just the HIV/AIDS orphans

Good agricultural production has mitigated effects of increased global price


of oil / Meat has slightly increased in cost while mealie meal, vegetables,
Cost of Basic kapenta have declined / Good agricultural performance means many things
Needs Shows a including affordability of food, non-dependence on outside countries and
Mixed Picture in ability to export food to recover some balance in foreign exchange / Food
Aug-04 1,100,200
the Face of production does not allow some to access food, especially those that are
"External Shocks," unemployed or caring for someone with HIV/AIDS / Zambia's focus in
Says JCTR addition to debt cancellation should be concentration on sectors that form the
bedrock of human welfare: agriculture, health, education and employment /
Government has intervened appropriately by providing agricultural inputs

Sep-04 1,097,100 No Statement


High cost of living continues to be a major problem faced by households and
should be central to policy discussion / the BNB highlights the struggle to
Yes, Cost of Living meet daily needs / meat has increased significantly due to Foot and Mouth
Major Problem Disease / beans, dry fish and cooking oil also increased likely due to
Among increase in fuel prices the past month / people during the recent National
Oct-04 1,127,500 Households and Governance Baseline Survey indicated high cost of living as a serious
Needs Very problem / the serious off-shoots of high cost of living include malnutrition and
Serious Attention," stunted growth in children, difficulties in accessing health and education and
Says JCTR absence of other areas of well-being / There must be continued holistic
efforts to address the problem by investing in people through health,
education and job creation

Leading politicians disappoint us by not talking about the everyday problems


that impact the livelihoods of the people / Current political debates are out of
touch / Political focus should be on policies and not personalities / There is a
gap between what families ought to be spending and what they can afford to
spend / This should be the number one political issue / Instead of talking
JCTR Asks: Why
about cost of living, which determines a family's access to health, education,
Don't Politicians
food, shelter, agricultural production, there is more talk about reaching the
Nov-04 1,114,800 Speak About What
doubtful and ever floating HIPC completion point / The constitutional debate
is Important in
has also pulled attention away from quality of life, though it is important in the
People's Lives
long run / It is encouraging that the MoE will employ 1000 teachers, but what
about the majority of Zambians that will remain unemployed / Subsidised
inputs have benefited some farmers but much more can be done to deliver
prompter and wider supply of inputs / JCTR is hopeful that people will vote
on those issues affecting their welfare

Zambia's longstanding problem of high cost of living should top the policy
debates for 2005, since it determines general welfare by indicating how
households relate to education, health, food, shelter, etc. / Cost of living is a
broad quality of life indicator / Claims of improvement in the economy should
only be measured by looking at access to health, education, food, decline in
street kids, etc. instead of in GDP growth / Agricultural output in 2003 and
2004 has helped curb inflation in addition to enhancing rural income and
assuring national food security / In 2004 there was only a short period of
price decline followed by typical end of year increase / In 2004 the average
cost of food alone was K447,153, cost of non-food items was K659,016 and
cost of BNB was 1,106,170 per month / Comparison of cost to average
incomes shows how families struggle to meet essential needs / Think of the
Year 2004 Ends
civil servants with frozen wages due to HIPC, those women crushing stones,
With Food Alone
those looking after orphans due to HIV/AIDS deaths, those providing ARVs,
Costing K481,540:
those households with no formal employment / A widow in Lusaka says "I
Dec-04 1,147,840 Need of People
have 10 children, five my own and five orphans. My salary is below
Should be Key in
K200,000 and I have to pay rent, take children to school, buy food and do
Policy Debates in
everything out of this little money. I am really suffering" / To move people
2005, Says JCTR
from less to more human conditions, the following recommendations are
being made: 1) There must be responsible and responsive leadership at all
levels, 2) ESC rights must be enshrined within the Bill of Rights to allow
Zambians to claim their inherent rights, 3) Education must be improved by
addressing exam leakages, lack of schools in rural areas, poor teacher
morale, 4) Health interventions must move towards a holistic approach that
takes into account poverty and nutrition, 5) Zambia must strive for total debt
cancellation, 6) Sustainable and diversified agriculture must be encouraged
market access should be improved, 6) Zambia must create a clear strategy
for employment creation, whether or not it pleases the IMF and WB / In 2005
Zambia must take advantage of the global attention to poverty issues / The
2005 budget should give primacy to human considerations
To what extent will 2005 budget uplift lives of average Zambian families? /
This years budget lacks boldness and holistic vision to make a tangible
impact / It is similar to past failed budgets / The BNB as a testament to
struggle of people is a good entry point to critique the budget / JCTR
supports the CCJDP call for upward adjustment to PAYE tax exemption
threshold to at least K600,000, if not K900,000 / “By setting the PAYE
exemption threshold at K280,000 per month, the government is admittedly
taxing Zambian people who cannot afford to put food on the table for their
The 2005 National
families, the same group it classifies as ‘extremely poor’” / The K20,000
Budget: Continuing
Jan-05 1,340,840 increase fails to maintain status quo in real terms / There is need for creative
with the Status
broadening of tax base / There is need for a robust strategy for employment
Quo?
creation / Internal debt which stands over US$ 1 Billion and grew by 6% in
2004 is a huge challenge to employment creation / There is need for a
strategy to create affordable housing within urban areas / Salary increases to
teachers are welcome, but they only maintain the status quo by correcting a
backlog of problems from the past / According to the 1998 African
Development Report, “Once a generation of children is exposed to life
without adequate health and nutrition or school, there is little that can be
done during the lifetime to reverse the damage” / Damage is being done

The JCTR observes that the commonly experienced high prices at the end
and beginning of each year should not be accepted as the norm / The
Basket Reveals inflation comes at a difficult time when families are under pressure to pay
Difficult Times for school fees, buy new uniforms, etc. / Rural families suffer not only from high
Households During food costs, but also accessibility problems / This mandates evenly spreading
End and Start of strategic reserves (especially of maize) across the country instead of
Feb-05 1,333,170 the Year: JCTR concentrating them in urban areas / The government must not dismiss this
Calls for phenomenon as a way of life but work to determine solutions / Policy design
Necessary Steps and response to crisis must realise how all human beings desire access to
to Address food, housing, clothing, education, social inclusion, health, etc. / It is time we
Situation strengthen education to rural communities on food storage and sound
agriculture & increase prevalence of storage facilities and democratically
organised farming cooperatives / We need long-term interventions

Both local and international responses to poverty have been inadequate and
sometimes cosmetic / There has been little investment in human capital,
Inadequate
which has resulted in low access to social services, inadequate access to
Responses and a
energy supplies in terms of cooking and transportation, insufficient food, poor
Complex
health and education, etc. / Women have especially responded with
Interaction of
versatility to these problems, but have been put under great stress / The
Factors Behind
BNB remained unchanged in the face of drought and fuel price increases,
Mar-05 1,331,950 Increases in
but we can expect upward adjustments later in the year / A tripod of
poverty: JCTR
international factors are hindering development: debt, trade injustice and
Calls for Real
inadequate resource flows / Each and every Zambian must work alongside
Action During the
people all over the world to move forward / During the Global Week of
Global Week of
Action, we add our voices to the global cry to end the evil of poverty / Each
Action
one of us must challenge both local and international policies, situations, etc.
that limit investment in human beings and entrench widespread suffering
Employment creation must be one of the top most priorities of government,
especially in its efforts to promote the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
of the people / Unemployed persons cannot meet needs at home, but also
experience social exclusion and psychological pain / Widespread
JCTR Calls for unemployment undermines the realisation of strong families and a solid
More Efforts at foundation of the nation / Government must not leave employment creation
Addressing the to individual efforts / The high unemployment rate is made worse by the
Apr-05 1,331,920
Challenge of incessant challenge of an unaffordable, high cost of living / Employment
Employment creation is paramount / New jobs must be economically empowering and
Creation offer a safe, healthy working environment / The recent loss of life in
Chambeshi demonstrates how the work environment in many places does
not promote human dignity / As Zambia celebrates Labour Day, let us
examine more closely these deeply moral issues such as child labour,
exploitation, gender disparity, delayed remuneration, etc.
Zambia is experiencing some shortfall in maize grain / It is important that the
government further clarifies the actual situation in light of mixed statements
from stakeholders / Availability of correct information is essential to avoiding
any starvation of Zambians / Government needs to establish the location and
quantity of existing stocks and also when and where deficits will emerge /
Maize deficits will disadvantage urban residents relying upon poor wages
JCTR Calls for
and rural residents depending upon maize for both consumption and income
May-05 1,352,130 Clarity on Maize
/ Mealie meal has jumped in Lusaka from K33,300 to K34,600 / Dry fish and
Grain Situation
kapenta have contributed to an increase in food costs by nearly K20,000 /
After clarifying maize deficits and putting in place distribution mechanisms, it
is also important to examine food availability at household level / Analysis
must deepen to include assessment of employment, intra-household food
availability, local community participatory frameworks, etc. / We must begin
to even look beyond food statistics to questions of household accessibility

All employers, whether foreign investors, the government, local businessmen


or informal employers, must value the work of their employees and
compensate them justly / Created in the image of God, each one of us has
inherent dignity and God-given talents that should be justly employed to
contribute to society / Workers are just treated as a means to maximise
profits, as illustrated by the recent Shoprite strike and mining accident at
JCTR Challenges Chambeshi / Casualisation and low wages are widespread / The BNB shows
All Employers to the disparity between income and cost of needs / High cost of living denies
Jun-05 1,349,650 Respect the ability of people to lead dignified lives and effectively use God-given talents /
Dignity of Zambian The Minimum Wage, last updated in 2002, must be revised in its limited
Workers scope and inconsistency with today’s costs / The Draft Constitution fails to
grant power of updating Min. Wage to a particular government branch /
Casualisation is not only unlawful but unjust because casual workers only
receive limited benefits and rights / The government must strive to improve
its own employment conditions to set a positive example for all employers /
The Zambian worker will not be free from abuse until employers are
motivated by prudent laws and moral obligation to respect human dignity

To improve access to basic needs, there must be significant investment in


health and education / In addition to macro-level benefits, education & health
allow households to meet basic needs, lead healthy lives, fight HIV/AIDS,
engage effectively in community development, etc. / Basic needs have been
JCTR Asks: Why too unaffordable for too long / Inadequate living conditions are stifling
Have We Not people’s creativity and ability to participate in development efforts / The BNB
Realised the Value shows what is happening in people’s lives / The relationship between cost of
Jul-05 1,361,770
of Education and living and people’s income shows whether Zambia is promoting social
Health All the exclusion or integration / JCTR agrees with Mwanawasa’s dictate that new
Time? plans for health and education be formed within 60 days / Education must go
beyond passing exams to training the mind and encouraging good character
/ The right to health and education must be enshrined within the Bill of Rights
of the new Constitution, so that government can be held accountable / Social
development is economic development

Recent UNDP review of progress towards the MDGs revealed a serious


situation of hunger that must be addressed / Inadequate food hinders
JCTR Calls for people’s health and education and leads to a loss of productivity that slows
Serious Efforts at development / Ability to access food goes beyond national food security, and
Meeting is especially dependent upon income / The BNB highlights the high cost of
Aug-05 1,358,990
Millennium food, on top of other needs / Also, the failure to reduce hunger in the nation
Development points out a lack of commitment to attaining the MDGs / The government
Goals in Zambia must stick to clear priorities, day-to-day and year-to-year / Drastic measures
must be taken in the areas of agriculture, employment creation, health and
education if Zambia is to make serious progress towards the MDGs
The fuel crises has greater impact on those already living on the margin of
survival, including widows, unemployed, rural populations, those who eat
less than 3 meals per day, etc. / The fuel crises is also a reminder of the
precariousness of our socioeconomic situation and the need to rethink our
development approaches / Development now places more emphasis on
Fuel Crises to
“wealth creation” than on “poverty reduction” / This is an unsustainable
Sep-05 1,353,790 Affect More the
attitude, especially realising the finite nature of natural resources such as
Poor, Says JCTR
fuel / Though Zambia does not use as much fuel as most countries, it should
set an example to the world in sustainability / The BNB is a measure of only
those needs for basic human survival / Likewise, development should not be
hinged on over-consumption of resources / Brigadier General Miyanda’s
cycling in town demonstrates one approach to sustainable development
The family is the basic unit of social cohesion and the primary determinant of
the nation’s character / Therefore, we should all critically evaluate the
household environment in which we raise kids, in terms of not only material
wellbeing but also the attitudes and values communicated / The family
provides the foundation of socialisation for later participation in society,
ideally passing on values of honesty, responsibility, respect and love / Social
JCTR Says
problems such as corruption, poverty, undesirable social behaviour, etc. are
Development
a result of what’s happening at the family level / The BNB brings out how
Interventions
Oct-05 1,348,860 families not only struggle to meet basic needs but also to raise children with
Should Bring
strong values, confidence in their abilities, faith in the benefits of hard work,
Changes at a
hope for the future / Not affording the BNB translates into poor nutrition, lack
Family Level
of concentration at work or school, street children, etc. / JCTR agrees with
President’s statement that there must be responsible parenthood / But, it is
also the responsibility of communities and government to create a suitable
environment to help families raise children / This means infrastructure
development, accessible good healthcare, affordable quality education, etc. /
Efforts towards national development must also strengthen values in society
Economic performance can only be judged by its impact on the people,
especially the poor / Discussions on the appreciating Kwacha must focus on
Monthly Cost of
its benefit to the people / Positive economic performance may take some
Food Alone at
time to benefit the people, but the depth of suffering in Zambia has been too
K506,150: Is the
significant, prolonged and disproportionate / Development approaches have
Gain in the Value
Nov-05 1,345,550 been urban-biased / So far there has been no relationship between
of the Kwacha
strengthening of Kwacha and reduction of key production ingredients such
Helping the
as fuel / Where are the “midnight” reductions in fuel? / Also, the BNB has
People? Asks
failed to decrease significantly & the staple food mealie meal has increased /
JCTR
Improvements in the economy must only be measured in the ability of people
to access basic needs / Much work remains in improving people’s lives
To ensure inclusive development and stronger moral fabric, positive societal
changes must be felt at household-level / To close the year, the rains led to
large increases in vegetables, tomatoes and charcoal / Recapping the year,
food prices decreased through April and jumped significantly in May / 2005
will be remembered as the beginning of serious Constitutional debate /
Unnecessary polarisation will undermine social cohesion, political focus and
a national sense of purpose / But to meet national challenges, including
HIV/AIDS, gender disparities, prostitution and street children, ESC rights
JCTR Reflections must be enshrined within a new Constitution / National development must
on 2005: not be seen as the benevolence of a particular government, but must be
Improvements of mandated by a good Constitution / JCTR commends continued policy
Dec-05 1,368,700 Nation’s Micro- direction to support farmers, though efforts were hindered by drought, fuel
Economic crises, etc. / The following points need particular attention in 2006: 1) The
Situations 2006 National budget must be pro-poor, using available HIPC funds wisely
Paramount 2) Government must strive to pay its employees adequately and on-time 3)
The MoLSS must be strengthened to carry out national audits of employment
conditions 4) Constitution-making must not distract from other areas of
national development 5) The 2006 elections must be issue-based 6) Positive
economic developments (e.g., Kwacha appreciation) must be felt by the poor
/ With 2005 characterised by significant debt cancellation, 2006 must be
filled with prudent resource utilisation and national hard work / But above all,
positive changes must be felt at the micro-level, with more households able
to adequately meet the needs of food, education, healthcare, etc.
PRESS RELEASE - SEPTEMBER 1999
LOWER FOOD PRICES BUT NOT HIGHER FOOD CONSUMPTION

Is the decline in the cost of the monthly food basket for a family of six means an increase in the well being of
most Zambians? This question is raised by the minimal fall for three months of the cost of the food basket. The
latest findings of the survey conducted by the Economic and Social Development Project of the Jesuit Centre for
Theological Reflection pegs the cost of the food basket for the month of September at K239, 840. Down from
K250, 660 in July and from K243, 100 in August, the survey reflects slightly lower prices in items such as
mealie meal, vegetables, cooking oil and eggs.

According to the Director of the Economic and Social Development Project, Mr. Alex Muyebe, there are a
number of economic factors that account for the continued decline in the cost of the food basket the past few
months. Mr. Muyebe observes that one of the cardinal factors is the developments in the food supply situation,
particularly the maize supply around this time as farmers manage to get their produce on the market, thereby
resulting in a downward effect on prices of mealie meal. Prices of other food commodities have also
experienced insignificant decline due to the slight strengthening of Kwacha on the foreign exchange markets last
month as a result of the increase in the non-traditional exports, i.e., tobacco and the increase in inflows owing to
disbursements by bilateral donors. The report by the Bank of Zambia on the percentage changes in the consumer
price indices indicates that the inflation rate continues to register minimal decline from about 31 per cent at the
beginning of January 1999 to about 27 per cent at the beginning of September 1999. Therefore, the inflation rate
might also be taken into consideration as one of the factors for the decline in the cost of the food basket.

Mr. Muyebe notes that there is yet another important social factor for the decline in the cost of the food basket.
It is the fact that there is a decline in the number of people having sufficient income to meet their needs. Many
people have had to adjust their food budgets because they simply do not have money. The levels of income of
the majority of Zambians are not commensurate with what they are required to pay for the basic necessities, such
as food, housing, clothing, education, health, etc. A good number of families are being forced to go without
certain food items or to consume less of the habitual food items. This has resulted in decline in the demand.
Traders have had to adjust accordingly by reducing prices of the affected commodities. This means that the
decline in the cost of the food basket does not mean improvement in the livelihood of most Lusaka residents.
The marginal decline in the cost of the food basket is unlikely to lighten the burden of survival for ordinary
families in Lusaka. The high cost of living in comparison to low salaries continues to bring great hardships.

Mr. Muyebe observes that food is the major indicator for measuring the cost of living mainly because food does
take up by far the largest portion of monthly income. Food is one of the primary necessities of life and its
accessibility is a good indicator of the levels of poverty. The recently launched mid-term review report by
GRZ/UNICEF, entitled, "Overcoming Barriers to Zambia's Development: Dismantling the Tripod of
Deprivation, Debt and Disease", indicates the rise in the overall economic and social hardships. For instance, the
report notes that the per capita consumption of maize, the single most significant component in a Zambian meal
has declined drastically from 153.2 kg in 1990/91 to 123.3 kg in 1996/97. The per capita consumption of
practically all other food products (cereal, vegetable, dairy and meat products) either remained constant, declined
or increased only marginally during this period, which must imply a reduction in calorie intake and hence a
decline in nutritional status. It is for this reason that the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection continues to
advocate for a strong political commitment for policies to improve the living conditions and eradicate poverty.
Key to these policies, Muyebe suggests, is the establishment of a recognised 'poverty datum line' against which
all salaries can be measured.

Attached: Food Basket Estimates for September 1999


[For additional information, contact Alex Muyebe, Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774,
10101 Lusaka, Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 260-1-290759; e-mail: muyebe@zamnet.zm]
PRESS RELEASE - 06 JANUARY 2000
ANALYSIS OF THE COST OF FOOD BASKET IN 1999
What has been the pattern of the cost of the monthly food basket for a family of six in Lusaka in the past
year? How has this pattern affected the well being and livelihood of most of Lusaka residents? Below is the
first half of the two-part analysis report on the cost of living as reflected in our survey on the food basket in
1999. This first half focuses more on some technical dimension whereas the second part coming up next
week will focus more on the social dimension.

Using the December 1998 total of the cost of the food basket as a base value, a comparison of changes in
price over the past twelve months has been greatly affected by seasonal fluctuations. The first seasonal
fluctuation was between December 1998 and March 1999 yielding a price index of 9.19 percent. This
means that in March 1999, prices were 9.19 percent higher than in December 1998. The second seasonal
fluctuation was between March 1999 and July 1999 yielding a price index of 8.5 percent. The third seasonal
fluctuation was between July 1999 and September 1999 yielding a price index of 3.86 percent. The fourth
seasonal fluctuation was between September 1999 and December 1999 with a price index of 11.5 percent.

What accounts for seasonal fluctuations are prices of some seasonal goods, mainly mealie-meal. The price
of mealie-meal has moved up and down over the past twelve months. For instance, the average price of
mealie-meal (25 kg bag) in Lusaka was K18,800 in December 1998, K19,790 in March 1999, K17,570 in
July 1999, K15,340 in September 1999, and K17,300 in December 1999. The fluctuations in the total cost
of the food basket over the past twelve months indicate the total cost of the food basket in September 1999
as the lowest amounting to K239,840, and the total cost of the food basket in December 1999 as the highest
amounting to K257,480. One of the factors accounting for the lowest total cost of the food basket in
September 1999 was the increase in the maize supply between July and November, thereby resulting in a
downward effect on prices of mealie-meal. Other factors around that time included the slight appreciation
of the Kwacha on the foreign exchange markets in August as a result of the increase in the non-traditional
exports, and the increase in inflows owing to disbursements by bilateral donors. The inflation rate also
registered minimal decline around the same period.

There are a number of factors accounting for the highest total cost of the food basket in December 1999.
The average price of mealie-meal (25 kg bag) increased by K1,400 from November to December 1999.
This increase is attributed to the off season maize costs that normally accompanies the planting season as
most farmers hold on to maize stock. This has in turn culminated in higher unit price of maize, which is
reflected in the increased mealie-meal cost. There has also been a significant increase in the price per kg of
meat (Brisket). This rise may be seen to be temporary in the sense that it may be a necessary consequence
of the festive season rush to consume more meat and related food stuffs, thereby resulting in an upward
effect on price of meat owing to high demand for the commodity. Price increase on other commodities in
the food basket such as charcoal may be due to fuel price hike in mid December which in turn sparked off
the increase in transport cost. The price increase of commodities such as bath soap and wash soap may be
due to the continued depreciation of the Kwacha.

In spite of the fluctuations, it is clear that the general trend of pricing has been characterised by an upward
movement with a difference of K26,560 in the total cost of the food basket between December 1998 and
December 1999. Using the December 1998 total cost of the food basket as a base value we see that a family
of six in Lusaka was spending every month, on average, an additional amount of K16,550 from January to
December 1999. This means that the cost of living has been on the rise. Contrasting the food basket
findings with the income levels of the majority of Zambians over the past twelve months, we see that there
has not been any change in the income levels of most Zambians to correspond to the rising cost of living.
Wages have stagnated or fallen in real terms. This has consequences both in family food intake (e.g., rising
malnutrition rates) and in anti-social coping strategies (e.g., crime).

Prepared by Alex Muyebe, Economic and Social Development Research Project, Jesuit Centre for
Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774, 10101 Lusaka, Zambia, tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 260-1-290759;
e-mail: muyebe@zamnet.zm
PRESS RELEASE 7 JULY 2000

JCTR SAYS HIGH COST OF LIVING MANIFESTS WORSENING


SOCIAL CRISIS AND CHALLENGES CG MEETING
The 16 June statement by the Zambia Episcopal Conference, as well as the
recent report by the Zambia Social Watch Coalition, highlights the social crisis
currently being experienced by the country. This is one issue that needs to be
taken very seriously by the government, especially during the up-coming
Consultative Group meetings, according to the Jesuit Centre for Theological
Reflection (JCTR).

The social crisis is manifested in the increasing inability on the part of the
majority of Zambians to have access to proper health services, education, clean
water, shelter and, most importantly, adequately balanced diets. According to
Muweme Muweme, coordinator of JCTR’s Economic and Social Development
Research Project, the most recent food basket survey reveals an upward trend
in prices.

For the month of June, the food basket for a family of six in Lusaka stands at
K277,870. This is an increase of K7,950 from the K269,920 figure for the
month of May. The basket does not include housing, water, electricity, fuel,
transport, clothing, education, health care, recreation, etc.

According to Muweme, the increase reflects the continued fall in the value of
the Kwacha in relation to foreign currencies. From the beginning of May to the
end of June, the Kwacha fell by 5.42%, from K2,900/dollar to K3,110. Barclay’s
Bank estimates the fall will continue through the end of July, to K 3200. This
depreciation has been pushing the prices of most goods upwards, with the
exception of maize, which has declined because of a relatively higher supply at
this time of the year.

The ever rising (with insignificant periodic declines) cost of the food basket has
meant an ever increasing challenge to the majority of citizens to meet the
barest minimum of necessities. “This underscores the fact that the country is
moving towards a serious social crisis of unprecedented proportions,” says
Muweme, “if the trend is not reversed.” Salaries of teachers, nurses, police
officers and secretaries in the civil service to mention but a few are well below
the estimated monthly food basket.

For this reason, the JCTR strongly urges government to look at more effective
ways of addressing the current social crisis. Poverty reduction must be the
number one agenda item of the CG meetings, which begins in Lusaka on 16
July. To echo the Bishops’ sentiments in their recent pastoral letter, “There is
no future development without healthy and educated citizens.”
PRESS RELEASE 1 SEPTEMBER 2000

WIDENING GAP BETWEEN FOOD BASKET AND SALARIES:


WHAT DO POLITICAL PARTY MANIFESTOS HAVE TO OFFER?
As we approach the elections year, citizens will experience attempts by various political
parties to articulate or re-articulate their manifestos. The Jesuit Centre for Theological
Reflection (JCTR) shares the view expressed recently by the Federation of Free Trade
Unions (FFTU) that Party Manifestos should be made available for scrutiny by workers
in particular and citizens in general.

If there is one issue that needs to be taken seriously and deserves attention in Political
Party Manifestos, it is living conditions in relation to the widening gap between the
food basket and people's incomes.

The JCTR August food basket for a family of six in Lusaka stands at K272,305. This
reflects a slight drop from the July figure of K277,475, mainly attributed to the
continued drop in the price of mealie meal during this time of the year. However, this
does not suggest any improvement in the living conditions of the people. ''Standards of
living have continued to fall due to the widening gap between people's incomes and the
cost of the food basket,'' observes Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the Economic
and Social Development Research Project of the JCTR.

As of 31 August 2000, the salary of a Primary School Teacher stood between K110,000
and K150,000; that of a Secretary in the Civil service between K125,000 and K165,000;
a Nurse between K125,000 and K175,000; a Police Officer between K100,000 and
K180,000. When compared with the cost of the August basket (K272,305), a huge
disparity is indeed shown. If we add to the food basket transport, housing, fuel,
clothing, education, health care, recreation, etc., the gap would even become much
wider.

According to Muweme ''this situation offers the Zambian people a major challenge to
critically assess what is on offer from Political Party Manifestos in terms of meeting the
requirements of a food basket which has remained beyond the reach of many.''

Any Party Manifesto that does not put the question of enabling people to afford the
food basket within its mainstream policy does not reflect the importance of people as
key players in an economy. Having access to food is one of the cardinal issues in
people's lives as food accessibility or non-accessibility is an indicator of poverty levels
and a determinant of people's participation in various activities.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social


Development Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection,
P.O. BOX 37774, Lusaka, Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; e-mail:jctr@zamnet.zm;
internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 3 OCTOBER 2000

COMESA'S FREE TRADE AREA AND ITS SOCIAL


IMPLICATIONS
The current regional efforts through COMESA aimed at uplifting the member
countries' economies are being widely commended. The putting in place of the
COMESA Free Trade Area where there shall be no trade barriers is particularly
commended, especially considering the role of trade in national development.

However, the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) is deeply


concerned about the social implications of the COMESA Free Trade Area that
is taking effect end of this month, says Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the
JCTR's Economic and Social Development Research Project.

A major concern arises out of the likely reduced government revenue from duty
charges and how the government will meet its requirements for expenditure in
various sectors with a weaker revenue base.

This concern is a very critical one that appears to have been ignored.
According to Muweme, ''There could be a situation where in order for
government to have revenue, it might resort to heavy reductions in social sector
spending, education, health etc. And given the already existing inadequate
spending on these sectors, the situation might be worse with the coming of the
Free Trade Area.''

Government might also resort to raising taxes, which again would mean an
added burden to the already heavily taxed few people in the formal sector. This
will obviously curtail people from meeting education, health and food
requirements.

This situation is particularly dangerous now, when so many Zambians cannot


afford to meet the cost of the monthly food basket due to the ever-widening gap
between their salaries and the cost of basic commodities. For example, the
cost of the JCTR food basket for a family of six in Lusaka during September
was K278,375.00, representing an increase of K6,070.00 from the August
figure of K272,305.00.

Whereas these concerns are there, what is worrying is that there have not been
much discussion or serious studies into the social implications of the FTA for
Zambia. Muweme further says ''We know for certain that there is not a
watertight argument for the FTA as far as Zambia is concerned. It is a game
being left to chance!''
It is also worrying to note that while some countries may benefit from the FTA
arrangements because of having relatively stronger economies, Zambia stands
to lose on various accounts.

First, Zambia is a high cost area for production partly because of being
landlocked. This may mean that even foreign firms wishing to set-up subsidiary
companies for the sake of taking advantage of the FTA, may decide to set-up
their companies elsewhere.

Second, there is no manufacturing sector in Zambia to take comparative


advantage of the COMESA FTA. The few manufacturing companies that still
exist cannot compete effectively with foreign firms. The negative trade balance
that the country has been experiencing could just move to an even worse
position.

Third, the agricultural sector continues in a precarious situation and there are
few export agricultural products being generated. It appears before this
problem is remedied, the country will have to experience an inflow of foreign
products.

All these factors have great implications on the social well being of the people.
Employment levels may move from their current unpleasant state to even lower
figures. This will mean more people struggling to meet the cost of the food
basket which is anticipated to continue rising. Moreover, in the whole FTA
equation, there is not much talk about free movement of people and what this
might mean for Zambia.

According to Muweme, there is need to critically examine the social implications


of the COMESA FTA and to be prudently cautious about the whole approach to
it. ''Zambia cannot afford to go beyond the current poverty levels as manifested
in the inability of most people to afford the basic necessities of life.'' Presently,
there is every reason to be apprehensive about the COMESA FTA.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social


Development Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological
Reflection, P.O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia; tel 260-1-290410; e-mail:
jctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 2 NOVEMBER 2000

FOOD BASKET COST SHOOTS UP:


JCTR CALLS UPON PARLIAMENT TO SERIOUSLY LOOK AT
THE RISING COST OF LIVING

The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) is calling upon Zambian parliament
scheduled to open its final sitting of the year on 7 November to take a serious look at the
rising cost of living in the country and come-up with immediate and intermediate measures
that would help mitigate the suffering of the people caused by the rising cost of living.

According to the JCTR's monthly food basket for a family of six in Lusaka, the cost of living
has gone up by a huge margin. The survey indicates that for a family of six in Lusaka to
survive, without taking into account transport, health, education, housing, etc., they would
need K290,310. This shows an increase of K11,935 from the September figure of K278,375.

This rise is in the wake of an interaction of various forces. The increase in the cost of fuel
has precipitated an increase in inflation and also has necessitated corresponding increments
in the prices of various commodities and services. Added to all this has been the Kwacha's
continued depreciation in relation to the United States Dollar. According to Barclays Bank,
the Kwacha will continue to fall until the end of the year and probably continue doing so in
the New Year.

Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of JCTR's Economic and Social Development Project,


observes that while some of the factors leading to rising cost of living may be external, there
is every need to look at domestic interventions that would help cushion the serious negative
impacts on the poor.

According to Muweme, ''if the added cost of our fuel in relation to other countries is also
influenced by tax imposed by government, why not remove or minimise that tax to levels that
would not send huge spiralling effects in terms of price increases?'' It is common knowledge
that manageable fuel costs will have long term positive effects on the development of our
industry as well as attracting the much talked about foreign investors and improving our
trading possibilities within the new COMESA FTA agreement.

The other intervention should be to make next year's budget pro-poor not in rhetoric but in
reality, that is in practical policy terms. There are ways and means through which the rising
cost of living and deteriorating living standards can be checked. For example, Parliament
should look at specific things like abolishing school fees, directing resources towards health
care, improving agricultural policies, etc. The current socio-economic trends continue to
marginalize people's participation in economic development in that they are incapacitated.
This situation is in itself an antithesis to development.

Muweme further says,"It is time that the debates and decisions in Parliament should be
orientated towards issues that would help improve poor living conditions and ease the
general suffering of the people.'' This, in JCTR's view, should especially characterise the
coming sitting of Parliament.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social Development
Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774,
Lusaka, Zambia; tel 260-1-290410;e-mail:jctr@zamnet.zm; internet:www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 27 DECEMBER, 2000

YEAR 2000 WINDS UP WITH A VERY HIGH INCREASE IN COST


OF FOOD BASKET OBSERVES JCTR

As we approach the end of the year 2000, there is much discussion about the
state of Zambia's economy. The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection
(JCTR) notes that a key topic of discussion is the significance of Zambia's
qualification for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC)
initiative, especially as to how it will benefit the poor in the country.

Another central focus of attention has been the dramatic depreciation of the
Kwacha against major currencies such as the US dollar and the British Pound
Sterling and the consequence of this for business stability.
.
All these discussions are taking place against the well-known background of
relentless deterioration in the living conditions of the majority of Zambians
because of their inability to meet the cost of minimal survival.

Latest figures of the JCTR ''Food Basket'' reveal how difficult this economic
situation is. The year-end (December) cost of the food basket is now
K312,695.00, up by K49,325.00 from the year beginning (January) figure of
K263,370. A major rise in the cost of the food basket was recorded in
December, when it rose by K22,100.00 from the November cost of
K290,595.00.

The depreciation of the Kwacha to the tune of 16 per cent in November


accounts significantly for the rise in the cost of the food basket for the month of
December, observes Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of Economic and Social
Development Research Project of the JCTR.

The food basket looks at the cost of items for a family of six in Lusaka, such as
mealie meal, sugar, tea, vegetables, eggs, etc. If we include non-food items
necessary for human survival such health, transport, water, electricity,
education, etc., the cost would even be much higher.

INFLATION TROUBLES

A look at the trends in the monthly cost of the Food Basket reveals the sharp
increase in the cost of living over the past year (see the graph below). The cost
of the food basket has consistently been rising, with records of minimal
increase during the time when the market experiences an increase in the
supply of maize, and high increases whenever there is an increase in the price
of fuel as well as a remarkable depreciation in the value of the Kwacha.
The Bank of Zambia has recently estimated that the overall inflation rate for
2000 would be close to 30%. This is disappointingly much higher than the 19%
target announced by the government last January in its 2000 Budget.
Figure
Trends in cost of Food Basket,
2000
320,000

Value in Kwacha
310,000
300,000
290,000
280,000
270,000
260,000
250,000
240,000
230,000

May
March

July
January

November
September
Month

POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

As we look ahead to the year 2001, what does the above scenario tell us in
terms of policy intervention? Muweme suggests three important implications:
First, government should seriously look at factors that are responsible for the
rise in the cost of living. It is not enough to attribute the problem to factors such
as a surge in the price of crude oil and a failure to fight inflation. ''We must find
effective ways of mitigating the impact of this phenomenon, particularly on the
poor,'' says Muweme. This should be a major focus of the Poverty Reduction
Strategy Paper (PRSP) process that is currently underway.
Second, next year's budget should as much as possible be pro-poor so that the
burden of suffering which is increasing every day on the part of the poor is
lessened. To this end, JCTR echoes the Catholic Commission for Justice and
Peace (CCJP) recent call that the 2001 budget be pro-poor in real practical
terms.
Third, good yields in the agricultural sector impact positively on the economy in
general and living standards in particular. Therefore calls by various
organisations to look seriously into improving the agricultural sector must be
taken heed of by the government.

''HIPC, PRSP, Kwacha stabilisation and other macro-economic measures,''


says Muweme, '' must be clearly oriented toward improving the micro-economic
situation of ordinary Zambians.''
[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social
Development Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological
Reflection, P.O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia; tel 260-1-290410; email:
jctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 31 JANUARY 2001
KWACHA APPRECIATES BUT PRICES REMAIN HIGH,
OBSERVES JCTR
Recently, the Government of the Republic of Zambia announced measures aimed at
addressing the depreciation of the currency. The measures are also seen as a way of
tackling the inflation problem. Since the measures took effect, the Kwacha has been seen to
appreciate, moving from around K4,500 per US Dollar to currently K3,500 per US Dollar.

The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) wishes to commend government on the
measures taken because they are seen to be efforts aimed at ultimately improving the living
conditions of the people, especially the poor.

However, it is striking to note that since these measures were announced with the resultant
''appreciation'' of the Kwacha, no significant positive changes can be observed in the
economy in the area that touches everyone, the price of food.

There has not been any change in prices to reflect the appreciation of the Kwacha. This
obviously implies that there is something missing in the economy that needs to be
addressed. ''Targeting the Kwacha alone is not enough since so far there is no relation
between the Kwacha's appreciation and the prices,'' says Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of
the Economic and Social Development Research Project of JCTR.

The JCTR monthly Food Basket, a cost of living survey for a family of six in Lusaka indicates
an increase of K7, 175 from the December 2000 figure of K312, 695 to K319, 870 for
January 2001. This is just the cost of some food items, without adding nutritional items (e.g.,
milk kapenta, beans, etc.) and the cost of non-food items (e.g., education, housing, transport
etc.). Under normal circumstances, one would have expected the recent appreciation of the
Kwacha to begin to correspond with the actual price situation in the country.

The 2001 National Budget has been presented under the theme ''Empowering People for
Prosperity''. ''Indeed it is important to recognise that an economy exists for the people and
not the other way,'' says Muweme. ''This means that people should be key players in an
economy through their economic empowerment. There must be deliberate efforts in terms of
policy formulation towards creation of situations that enable people to be effective and full
key players.''

Moreover, the cost of the food basket is by far higher than the K200, 000 lowest salary for
public employees promised in this year's budget. Muweme observes that ''while social sector
spending has been increased in this year's budget, one would still wonder how economic
empowerment would be achieved with wages that do not seriously take account of the
prevailing cost of living.''

It is therefore JCTR's view that the theme for this year's budget should not simply be rhetoric
but must be translated into real action. Parliament should look closely at those factors that
are responsible for the relentless suffering of the majority of the Zambian people, one of
which is high prices in the face of low wages.

Please note the new format of the food basket. Do you think it is an improved format?
Send us comments and suggestions.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social Development Research Project
of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774, Lusaka, Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; e-
mail: jctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE FEBRUARY 2001

JCTR CALLS FOR SHARPER FOCUS ON


DEVELOPMENT ISSUES
Attainment of development goals--that is, improvement in people’s well being such as having
access to education, health care, employment, nutritional diets, etc.--is a process that entails
constant analysis, monitoring and focus on issues that lead to attainment of such.

Any form of distraction to that process may lead to losing course of direction and thereby
derailing development, people’s well being. ‘’This derailment implies only one thing:
prolonged suffering of the Zambian people,’’ says Muweme Muweme, coordinator, Economic
and Social Development Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR).

According to the Economic and Social Development Project, a sharper focus on integral
development must not be lost. On one hand, Zambia’s human development indicators on
almost all accounts, (education, life expectancy, literacy, etc.), are generally very low with no
signs of improving. On the other hand, trends in cost of living show a constant increase.

The JCTR monthly food basket, a cost of living survey for a family of six in Lusaka, shows an
increase of K8,210 from January’s figure of K319,870 to K328,080 for the month of February.
(This increase is part of a constant pattern over the past year)

This indeed is a substantial rise that will impact negatively on the well being of the people
whose incomes have remained stagnant. It is now a trend for the country to experience price
increases in food and other basic necessities for human survival every month. ‘’There must
be national commitment to improve people’s well being if the country can begin to experience
a wind of hope towards poverty alleviation and ultimately its eradication,’’ says Muweme.

Currently, Zambia is in the process of formulating a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper


(PRSP), which will be a blueprint for the country on national development. This indeed is an
important process that equals national planning within the free market economy
dispensation. It is an exercise that requires the whole nation to prudently and diligently focus
on this important process that can help this country address the overwhelming problem of
poverty.

It is against this background that the Economic and Social Development Project of the JCTR
calls upon national leaders, of whatever political party, ''to sharpen their focus and apply
greater vigour and pragmatism on issues that are genuinely pertinent to the development of
this country, issues that are at the core of lessening the burden of suffering on the part of the
poor.’’

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme of the Economic and Social
Development Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection,
P.O.Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; e-mail: jctr@zamnet.zm; internet
www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE MARCH 2001

PRICE STABILITY, DECREASE AND INCREASE


CHARACTERISE FOOD BASKET
As we move into the second quarter of the year, the Economic and Social
Development Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection
(JCTR) monthly food basket has shown a varied trend in prices of the cost of
items.

According to Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the Economic and Social


Development Research Project, the price of mealie meal, cooking oil, eggs,
salt, vaseline, for example, has shown a very marginal decrease as compared
to last month's cost while meat and wash soap have recorded marginal price
increase.

However, charcoal has recorded a very high increase. This is because of


transportation and other difficulties associated with its production during the
rainy season. The increase in the price of charcoal from K26,000 to K38,000
for two 90 kg bags for a family of six has accounted significantly for the rise in
the cost of the food basket which now stands at K335,300 from the February
figure of K328,080.

This is against a situation where the use of charcoal is very high among poor
households because of the high electricity tariffs. For example, one woman
interviewed noted that '' I use charcoal when cooking such food items as beans
and fish as these take very long to cook.''

''It is obvious that the current high charcoal price will greatly disadvantage many
poor households leading to heightened poverty situations,'' says Muweme.

Other items such as bread and bath soap have not shown any changes, they
have remained stable.

The marginal price decreases recorded in some cases, show very little
correspondence in the economy between the commodity prices and the
strengthening of the Kwacha.

Muweme further observes that ''significant price decreases on most of the


essential commodities would greatly ease the hardships the Zambian people
are experiencing everyday.''

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social Development
Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774,
Lusaka, Zambia; tel 260-1-290410;e-mail:jctr@zamnet.zm; internet:www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE JUNE 2001

JCTR URGES GOVERNMENT TO GO BEYOND


MEETING PROJECTED ECONOMIC TARGETS
In this year's budget the government projected that the Zambian economy will grow by 5 per
cent, an increase from last year's growth rate of 3.5 per cent (down from the projected figure
of 4 per cent); year-end inflation for 2001 was projected to be contained to the figure of 17.5
per cent. According to the recent statement by the Minister of Finance and Economic
Development on Budget and Economic Performance for the First Half of the Year, the
inflation figure as of May 2001 stood at 22.2 per cent, down from the December 2000 figure
of 30.1 per cent.

''Obviously meeting these targets is fundamental to the improvement of Zambia's economy.


But equally important is what this means in terms of cost of living for ordinary people,''
observes Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the Economic and Social Development
Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection.

For example, the cost of the Food Basket of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection is
strongly determined each month by several factors, among them the inflation levels in the
country and the value of the Kwacha in relation to other currencies. The Food Basket is by
no means a measure of the cost of living in its entirety. It does not include cost of electricity,
water, housing, etc.

Muweme further says, ''as an estimate only of cost of food for a family of six in Lusaka, the
Food Basket currently costs K328,570 down from last month's of K329,400. A reduction of
only K830. This reduction cannot meaningfully impact on cost of living, the cost of living still
remains high.''

That the Food Basket does not measure cost of living in its entirety implies that if other costs
as mentioned above are factored in -- especially if we take the size of a household which
might be more than that of a family -- then the overall cost of living would undoubtedly be
much higher.

Therefore, the Economic and Social Development Research Project of the JCTR feels both
encouraged and discouraged by the statement from the Minister of Finance and Economic
Development on Budget and Inflation Situation in Zambia.

We are encouraged in the sense that the country in the first half of 2001 appears to be
moving towards the projected year-end inflation figure of 17.5 per cent as envisioned in this
year's budget. However, we are discouraged in that there has been no impact at all on cost
of living. In addition, there are still some threats both at the local and international levels that
might impact negatively on the inflation situation and the overall economic situation.

For example, the value of the Kwacha in relation to other currencies continues to be
unstable, the volatility in the price of crude oil, etc. In addition, the shutting down recently of
companies like Lamise Plastic Container Manufacturing Plant, Amanita Milling and Amanita
Zambiana operations paint a gloomy picture on the country's economy.

''This situation is undoubtedly inconsistent with the attainment of the projected year-end
inflation and the economic growth target as well as overall improvement in living conditions of
Zambian people,'' says Muweme.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social Development
Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774, Lusaka,
Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; e-mail: jctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 30 JULY 2001

COST OF JCTR FOOD BASKET RECORDS


SLIGHT INCREASE
The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) Food Basket for a family of
six in Lusaka for the month of July stands at K332,520. This is up by K3,950
from the June figure of K328,570. However, it must be pointed out that this
cost is mainly for food. It excludes other essential items such as housing,
electricity, water, transport, clothing, etc.
Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the Economic and Social Development
Project of the JCTR, observes that ''The overall cost of the Food Basket can be
influenced even by the rise in select or individual items composing it.'' The
current rise in cost of Food Basket can be largely attributed to the price of
mealie meal which has increased recently. This implies that the cost of living
still continues to rise.
It is in the light of the rising cost of living that JCTR acknowledges the
settlement of the wage dispute in the country and the importance of the recently
released money to pay council workers' arrears by government. However,
while acknowledging these two developments, JCTR would like to note the
following very urgent points:

• That the cost of living is still high. It is unlikely that the recent wage
increase will in fact offset the rise in cost of living.

• That the settlement is not an end in itself. JCTR urges a continuous


review of the wages to arrive at wages that more adequately reflect cost
of living.

• That wages should be paid on time to mitigate suffering.

• That the recently released money by government to pay arrears due to


council workers will go towards meeting that purpose and not be diverted
for other purposes. Council workers in different parts of the country have
had to endure a lot of suffering. It is only morally right that their suffering
is lessened.

''The importance of wages can not be overemphasised since human well being
is among other things predicated on income. Household food security, sending
children to school, medical expenses, etc., all depend among other things on
people's ability to meet the costs involved,'' says Muweme.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social Development
Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774,
Lusaka, Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; e-mail: jctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 31 AUGUST 2001

JCTR FOOD BASKET RECORDS HUGE INCREASE:


PROPORTION OF HOUSEHOLD EXPENDITURE ON
MEALIE MEAL RISES
The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) monthly Food Basket for a
family of six in Lusaka has recorded a huge increase in its cost. The cost of the
Food Basket for the month of August stands at K348,500. This is up by
K15,980 from the July figure of K332,520.

According to JCTR Economic and Social Development Research Project


Coordinator Muweme Muweme, ''the increase is largely attributed to the rise in
the cost of mealie meal during the month of August.'' The cost of mealie meal
now averages K24, 100. This translates into K72, 300 for the three bags
required to feed a family of six in Lusaka.

''The huge rise in the cost of the Food Basket means that the salary increments
recently worked out by government will not be as effective as they would have
been in countering high cost of living had the cost of the Food Basket remained
stable,'' observes Muweme.

Muweme further says that ''as an estimate only of the cost of food for a family of
six in Lusaka, the huge rise in the cost of Food Basket means also that the
proportion of household expenditure on food will also have to increase at the
expense of health, education, housing, transport, etc.''

According to Central Statistical Office publication, Living Conditions in Zambia


(1998), Preliminary Report, food amounted to 59 per cent as a share of the
national household expenditure. Already we see here (1998) that the food
budget was very high -- indicative of high poverty levels. With the rise in the
current cost of the Food Basket, the situation will even become worse.

JCTR hopes that the current rise in the price of mealie meal will be a temporal
one. Further, that the measures government has put in place such as the
importation of maize to fill the maize shortfall in national requirements and the
banning of exports of maize will result in making the price of mealie meal
affordable.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social Development
Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774,
Lusaka, Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; e-mail: jctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 30 SEPTEMBER 2001

LACK OF POLITICAL SENSITIVITY TO


COST OF LIVING WORRIES JCTR
The current high level of cost of living is exceedingly difficulty to cope with and has led to
greater suffering for the majority of the Zambian people, observes the Economic and Social
Development Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR).

According to the Coordinator of the Economic and Social Development Research Project,
Muweme Muweme, the Food Basket for the month of September stands at K357,300, an
increase of K8,800 from the previous month's figure of K348,500. ''Though this increase may
not be seen as a huge leap in the cost compared to the one for the last month, it is in a way a
significant one. This is so because it is taking place at an already much higher figure beyond
the reach of many poor households,'' says Muweme.

What is also worrying in this environment of deteriorating living conditions is the lack of
political sensitivity and zeal to act promptly to avert crisis situations. The shortfall in the
maize stock national requirement is an issue that should have been addressed long ago
without necessarily leading to the current levels in the price of mealie meal. For example,
when did the nation know that it was going to experience a short fall in maize national
requirements? And when were remedial measures supposed to be put in place? Why was
the prompt action delayed?

Worse still is the fact that as we approach the elections, very little in terms of programmes to
address the problem of rising cost of living is being talked about by various political parties.

Before the events of 11 September 2001 in the United States, there were already indications
that the global economy was beginning to slow down. This was shown by reports of job
losses in industrial economies such as Japan and Germany.

However, Muweme further says, ''What is more worrying now is the fact that the process of
economic slow down is going to be given much impetus following what happened in the
United States. This ultimately will impact negatively on the already high cost of living in
Zambia, especially with possible rising price of fuel and declining price of copper.''

Two issues emerge from what is happening pertaining to the availability of maize and to the
slow down in the global economy. The first is the need to properly forecast and thereby deal
with the problem before it gets worse. The second is to put in place measures relating to
global economic situations that would help mitigate impact of what is happening at that level
on the national economy.

Currently, without any precautions in place, the situation both locally and internationally gives
very little hope in terms of uplifting Zambia's living conditions. According to Muweme, ''We
Zambian citizens need to hear our competing politicians talk more about these issues so that
we can vote for wise and effective leaders.''

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social Development
Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774, Lusaka,
Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; web: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 31 OCTOBER 2001

APPROPRIATE AND PROMPT POLICY RESPONSES


IN AGRICULTURE VITAL, OBSERVES JCTR
As signs of rainfall become conspicuous and thus signalling the beginning of the
agricultural season, the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, (JCTR) is calling for
adequate preparedness in making available sufficient agricultural inputs (fertilizers,
seed, etc) to enable adequate crop production.

Without adequate preparations, Zambia may have to import maize again next year. It
should be noted that Zambia need not import maize next year unless in circumstances
beyond the country's control such as drought and floods. Observes Muweme Muweme,
Coordinator of the Economic and Social Development Research Project of the JCTR.

Poor agricultural production leads to increases in the cost of living as we are witnessing
now. The JCTR Food Basket for a family of six in Lusaka is now costing K358,400
compared to last month's cost of K357,300.

According to Muweme, the rise is mainly attributed to the rising cost of mealie meal
which has seen an adjustment to feed a family of six from K72,900 for the month of
September to K75, 000 for October. ''Where we can, let us as a country avoid such
trends in cost of living which hurt the poor most,'' says Muweme.

Muweme further says that what seems to be more worrying is the lack of prompt and
accurate policy responses to a lot of difficulties the country goes through, particularly
those pertaining to agriculture. No where is this more evident than what we are
experiencing now as revealed by the JCTR monthly Food Basket and the current
situation concerning maize stocks in the country.

The words of one socio-economic analyst, Dr. Peter Henriot puts it more succinctly and
aptly when analysing the agricultural situation in Zambia when he says, ''Zambia seems
to suffer from double drought. First, a policy drought where there is often too little and
too late effective meeting of farmers' needs to produce food. Second, a natural drought
where there is too little rain to enable crop production.''

We can see here that the first kind of drought can be easily controlled compared to the
second one. The failure to deal with the first kind of drought usually exacerbates the
second kind.
It is therefore JCTR's hope that the country will this season have appropriate rainfall to
enable crop production as well as appropriate policy responses to the situation in the
agricultural sector.
[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social Development
Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774, Lusaka,
Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; web: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 30 NOVEMBER 2001

HIGH COST OF LIVING SHOULD BE AN ESSENTIAL


FOCUS FOR POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS, SAYS JCTR
As the political campaigns for the forth-coming tripartite elections move towards
heightened levels, Zambian people continue experiencing worsening hardships in living
conditions, says the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR).

If only living conditions could be tackled with the greatest enthusiasm as being
exhibited currently during electoral campaigns, there could be greater impact on improving
welfare, observes Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the Economic and Social Development
Project of the JCTR.

The JCTR monthly Food Basket -- that measures cost of living -- for a family of six in
Lusaka has highlighted the continued disastrous living conditions in the country. The cost of
the Food Basket for the month of November stands at an all-time high of K377, 300.

However, this does not include other essential items that are necessary for human
survival and well-being such as housing, electricity, water, clothing, fuel, transport, education,
health care, recreation, etc. The current cost of Food Basket indicates a substantial increase
of K18,900 from the previous month's cost of K358,400. This increase is mainly attributed to
the continued rising cost of mealie meal. The average Lusaka price recorded was K29,100
(up from K17,300 only six months ago), we hear of the price being over K40, 000-K50,000 in
other parts of the country!

We also know that the majority of households in Zambia spend most of their income
on food. The rise in cost of the Food Basket means that a lot of households will be
compelled to reduce the number of meals per day or do away completely with other essential
expenditures.

Muweme further says that ''Current trends in cost of living raise great fears about the
future, particularly that government has allowed the inadequate maize situation to prolong far
too long without being effectively and equitably addressed.''

In this situation of high cost of living, two issues as a matter of development policy
become particularly important now that political parties are busy campaigning. First,
agriculture and its supportive role to other industries -- mining, manufacturing, etc. Second,
employment creation with adequate wages.

These two issues are very critical to determining living conditions of the people.
Therefore those aspiring to take responsibility of governing this country must tell the nation
what they will do about agricultural policy and the employment situation.

It is JCTR's strong call that as the country moves towards elections on 27 December,
these two important issues will be core in the campaigns of the various political parties and
all the respective candidates for President, MPs and Local Government Councillors.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social Development
Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774, Lusaka,
Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; web: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 8 JANUARY 2002

REFLECTIONS ON THE YEAR 2001:


JCTR FOOD BASKET AND NEEDS OF THE
ZAMBIAN PEOPLE
As Zambia approached the end of the year 2001, two issues became very prominent: the
tripartite elections and deterioration in living conditions. The former is now past us while the
latter is still with us taking on even worse proportions, says the Jesuit Centre for Theological
Reflection (JCTR).

The current situation of rising cost of living cannot be attributed to anything else other than
poor planning. The price of mealie meal in Zambia -- considering the country's natural
endowments -- need not be as high as it is currently. The country can and should certainly
grow its own maize to meet the demands of Zambian families, observes Muweme Muweme
Coordinator of the Economic and Social Development Project of the JCTR.

According to Muweme, the JCTR monthly Food Basket that measures cost of living for a
family of six in Lusaka stood at an all-time high figure at end of year 2001. It was up by
K2,090 from the November figure of K377,300 to K379,390. Two points need to be
mentioned here regarding these figures.

First the increase in the cost of the Food Basket is mainly attributed to the rising cost of
mealie meal. The price of mealie meal remains highly volatile. As a consequence, the price
asked for this first week of January in many markets varies between K30,000 and K65,000.
The cost reflected in the Food Basket on 24 December 2001 averages K28,730.

Second, the K2,090 increase in the cost of the Food Basket, though relatively small, is taking
place within the context of an already high cost of living. Moreover, the JCTR Food Basket
does not include in its measurement the cost of housing, transport, electricity, water, clothing,
health, education, etc. It is a measure only of basic necessities for human survival.

Alongside the continued serious deterioration in living conditions during the year 2001 were
also efforts on the part of government at containing inflation and attaining the growth target
set out at the beginning of the year. Muweme observes: ''While inflation has allegedly been
contained to manageable levels around 17 Percent, cost of living as revealed by the Food
Basket continued to rise for the whole of the year.'' (see figure below)

Figure:

2001 Trends in Cost of Living


Measured by JCTR Food Basket

400,000
380,000
Cost in Kwacha

360,000
340,000
320,000
300,000
280,000
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Month
The cost of the Food Basket for 2001 opened with a January figure of K319,870 and closed
with a December figure of K379,390. This represents an increase for the year of K59,520 in
the cost of the Food Basket or an inflation figure of 19 per cent.

''While dealing with the problem of inflation and reaching certain economic growth targets are
important, more important is the question of how those efforts translate into improving the
lives of ordinary people,'' says Muweme.

What Lessons for the Future?

We know that targeting inflation alone is not a panacea to solving the problem of cost of
living. There has to be greater attention to agriculture and other sectors of the economy that
are potentially huge employers and also impact positively on living conditions.

Due to the poor performance of the agricultural sector, we are witnessing a phenomenon
where rural people are relying on supplies of mealie meal from the urban centres. This
obviously is creating the problem of affordability on the part of the rural population as most of
them do not earn any income to purchase the commodity. Moreover there is also the
problem of distribution, considering that some roads are impassable during the rainy season.

Muweme also says that there is need for government to avoid having to deal with crisis
situations by ensuring that measures are put in place well in advance to solve an imminent
problem or disaster. ''The current maize situation in the country would not have taken such
proportions had government been more prudent in its planning,'' states Muweme. Going by
the current situation in relation to the distribution of farming inputs, one would find it very
difficult to be hopeful about a productive agricultural season during this present year.

JCTR therefore calls upon government to exercise a greater sense of empathy and to solve
the current problem of high cost of living in the country especially as it is currently
manifesting itself in the price of mealie meal. Moreover, we call upon the new Administration
in State House and the new Parliament to meet later this month to address more rational
planning to meet the needs of the Zambian people. ''For this reason'' says Muweme,'' we are
encouraged that the key person in charge of the Zambian economy is now called the
'Minister of Finance and National Planning'.''

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social Development
Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774,
Lusaka, Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; e-mail: jctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 7 FEBRUARY 2002

FROM FOOD BASKET TO BASIC NEEDS BASKET:


JCTR EFFORT FOR MORE ACCURATE AND ADEQUATE COST
OF LIVING ESTIMATES
The Economic and Social Development Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for
Theological Reflection (JCTR) has made major changes in the six-year history of the
Food Basket research. The changes are both in name and content. The JCTR monthly
Food Basket will now be called the Basic Needs Basket and includes nutritionally based
data.

According to Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the Economic and Social


Development Research Project, the changes are a consequence of responses to
recommendations that were received at the end of 2001 from several users of the Food
Basket that included trade unions, women's groups, academics, nutritionists, the Central
Statistical Office (CSO) and the media. The change is also an effort aimed at making
the monthly Food Basket more accurate and adequate in highlighting the plight of the
poor.

''As the 2002 National Budget is about to be presented to Parliament, it is important that
citizens and policy makers have an adequate and accurate picture of the cost of living in
Zambia,'' says Muweme. This would among other things facilitate designing policies
that will be more responsive to the needs of the majority of Zambians, especially the
poor. The cost of living has continued to rise impacting negatively particularly at food
consumption by many households both in terms of quantities and nutritional balance.

Muweme also observes that the rising cost of living has an obvious telling effect on the
health of the people and subsequently development needs and efforts of Zambia. For
this reason and because of the strong correlation between food intake -- especially
nutritionally balanced food intake -- and welfare, the JCTR has found it imperative to
include in its Basic Needs Basket nutritionally based data. This is aimed at giving a
picture of the cost of nutritionally based food requirements for a family of six.

The newly introduced Basic Needs Basket for the month of January for a family of six
in Lusaka costs K829,250. ''At first glance this figure may seem astronomically high,''
comments Muweme, ''any Zambian reflecting on the demands of their real situation will
acknowledge that it is a true reflection of the cost of living.'' It is realistic in that in
addition to presenting nutritionally balanced food items (whose total amounts to
K324,650), the Basic Needs Basket includes the cost of housing in medium density area
(averaging K350,000) and other non-food essentials (amounting to K154,600).

The current high cost of living is also manifesting itself in the price of mealie meal.
While the average in Lusaka for the month of December was K27,000, the average for
January 2002 is K36,000. The cost of mealie meal is one issue that has been a subject
of discussion for a long time in Zambia but has seen no change towards making the
commodity affordable to most households which already spend a huge percentage of
their income on food with little or no income at all to spend on other needs such as
health, education, etc..

Notable Changes
One of the major changes introduced in the new format is that of separating food items
from non-food items and the cost highlighted separately. This means that the overall
total cost of the Basic Needs Basket is the sum of the total cost of food items and non-
food items. Some important additions in the overall Basic Needs Basket include food
items such as milk, kapenta, beans and non-food items such as electricity, water and
housing.

It is also important to note that some other additional costs that are a key part of the
daily lives of people have not been included in the calculation of the total for the Basic
Needs Basket. However, because of their importance, their estimates are given
separately. These include transport, education and health. Moreover, estimates for
other human requirements such as personal care, clothing, recreation, etc., are not given
because they are difficult to capture accurately.

Other changes include the expansion of the Lusaka sampling area to make the Basic
Needs Basket survey more representative. This has meant addition of other sampling
areas to the previous areas of data collection. The current areas of data collection are
Northmead, Matero, Chawama, Kabwata, City centre (Shoprite), Soweto and Chainda.

Significant implications of the changes


Undoubtedly, these changes introduced have significant implications. Two of them are,

• Because of the inclusion of some essential food and non-food items, the cost of
the Basic Needs Basket is significantly higher than the previous Food Basket.
However, this is a reflection of a realistic situation taking into account costs such
as nutritionally necessary items and housing, electricity, water, etc.

• Comparison of the new cost of Basic Needs Basket with the cost of the Food
Basket in previous months or years will now not be exactly possible because the
two formats differ in content and sampling. However, what is lost in the value of
comparability is more than balanced by the new accuracy and adequacy
presented in the new Basic Needs Basket.

Muweme further says that since this is a first attempt at designing the Basic Needs
Basket, there will obviously be the need for some improvements and refinement. JCTR
will therefore be pleased to receive comments or responses over this new proposal.

''What JCTR needs,'' says Muweme, ''is an effective tool in its continued campaign for
more just social and economic policies in Zambia.''

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social Development
Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774, Lusaka,
Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 290759; e-mail: jctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 6 MARCH 2002

BASIC NEEDS BASKET


CHALLENGES THE 2002 NATIONAL BUDGET
The 2002 National Budget presented by the Minister of Finance and National Planning has
been applauded as one of the best National Budgets Zambia has ever had. This judgment is
essentially based on what the Budget has set out to achieve for the people of Zambia. But
the actual realization in concrete terms of what the Budget has set out to achieve is certainly
the greatest challenge that lies ahead, comments the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection
(JCTR).

''Particularly important is whether or not the Budget proposals will enable the majority of
Zambian families, especially the poor, to have enough food to eat,'' Muweme Muweme
Coordinator of the Economic and Social Development Research Project of the JCTR states,
''since meeting the basic needs of the people is in our view the key criteria for judging how
'good or 'bad' the Budget is.''

The JCTR Basic Needs Basket which estimates cost of living in Lusaka urban for a family of
six -- taking into account costs for food such as mealie meal, beans, dry fish, meat, etc., and
non-food essentials such as housing, charcoal, electricity, water, etc -- was at the end of
February costing K823,510. This is down by K5,740 from the January figure of K829,250.
This decline is largely attributed to the decline in the price of charcoal which has reduced by
K6,000 for two 90 Kilogramme bags. This reduction is associated with low rainfall currently
being experienced in Lusaka and other parts of the country.

The JCTR thus observes that the proposed K150,000 tax exemption in this year's Budget
falls far below meeting basic needs. Indeed it hardly meets half of the monthly expenses for
food, currently costing K324,510. ''Instead of continuously strangling those in the formal
sector in terms of their ability to meet their food and non-food essential requirements for their
welfare, government should move quickly with its plans of broadening the tax base,'' says
Muweme. This concern over broadening the tax base has been raised many times in the
past.

The attention given to agriculture in this year's National Budget, which has been a repeated
call by JCTR, is very encouraging. It is JCTR's hope that the budgetary allocation to this
sector will translate into real action leading to improvement of lives of the poor.

Muweme further says that ''Ultimately one of the most basic criteria for judging any budget or
indeed any economic policy is what it does in concrete terms in making available food, clean
water, education, housing, health, and other essentials of human welfare.''

It is important that any Budget currently and in future move away from being something
which ''might'' happen in terms of delivering to something that realistically does happen. Key
to that, states Muweme, ''will be very clear and strong monitoring of budget allocations to see
that they really do meet the needs of the poor.''

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social Development
Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774, Lusaka,
Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 290759; e-mail: jctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm
PRESS RELEASE 03 APRIL 2002

CLARIFY POSITION ON SCHOOL FEES,


JCTR URGES GOVERNMENT
With the current high levels of cost of living in the country, it is imperative that Government
immediately clarifies the issue of school fees, says the Economic and Social Development
Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR).

Indeed, the news last month from the Ministry of Education about the abolition of all school
fees up to grade seven was received with a great sense of relief by the majority of
households throughout Zambia. However, the relief was short-lived following the
pronouncement soon after by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning that parents
were still obliged to make payments for the education of their children until budgetary
arrangements had been settled.

''The abolition of school fees is one of the important aspects to removing impediments for
attending school in the current situation especially by the poor,'' says Muweme Muweme,
Coordinator of the Economic and Social Development Research Project. Research findings
in the recent JCTR study, “Will the Poor Go to School: Cost Sharing in Education in Zambia,”
demonstrated clearly that the policy of cost sharing had negative consequences.

The study, done in collaboration with OXFAM, showed, among other things, that households
are spending on primary education nearly twice the amount that is provided through the
public budget. But the economic constraints on households are increasingly intolerable and
as a consequence many young people are not being sent to school.

The abolition of school fees could have relieved many households of the current situation of
the high cost of living. The JCTR Basic Needs Basket which estimates the cost of living for a
family of six in Lusaka stands for the month of March at K824,600, up from the February
figure of K823,510. This indicates an upward adjustment of K1,090. ''Though this
adjustment might seem to be minimal,'' says Muweme, ''it is however taking place at an
already extremely high level of cost of living.''

Moreover, if we draw our attention only to food -- excluding the cost of essential non-food
items -- it can be seen that only the cost of feeding for a family of six is still high, currently at
K327,300. ''How many households in Zambia have above K300,000 as monthly income at
their disposal?'' Asks Muewme.

JCTR therefore urges government to move quickly in ensuring that all school fees for the
primary school level -- just one of the many loads bringing hardship to many households --
are abolished. This must be done very clearly, not just on paper but in practical terms (and
hopefully subsequently for secondary level). Only in this way can there be an assurance of
sustainable development for Zambia for the future.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social Development Research Project
of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774, Lusaka, Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; fax:
290759; e-mail: jctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm
PRESS RELEASE 30 APRIL 2002

JCTR SAYS HIGH COST OF LIVING


ENHANCING REPRODUCTION OF POVERTY
The current and continuing rise in cost of living is reproducing poverty in such a way that it
will be difficulty for the majority poor people of Zambia to come out of it, observes Muweme
Muweme, Coordinator of the Economic and Social Development Research Project of the
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR).

If one looks at coping strategies -- as revealed by the Living Conditions Monitoring Survey
(1998) of the Central Statistical Office (CSO) -- such as reduction in the number of meals
taken per day, reduction in the usage of household items like soap, asking from friends,
substituting ordinary meals with fruits and other non-conventional meals, etc., one finds that
they are very indicative of creating a cycle of poverty and generally impact negatively on
households' ability to move out of poverty situations in a sustainable fashion. ''Indeed,'' says
Muweme, '' these coping strategies are not in themselves sustainable, neither do they lead to
decent sustenance of life.''

According to recent estimates as indicated by the JCTR Basic Needs Basket, the cost of
living for a family of six in Lusaka now stands at K825,500 up from the month of March figure
of K824, 600. The cost of food only, still stands at more than K300,000. ''We can see here
that even the most basic need of human existence, adequate and nutritionally balanced food,
is beyond the reach of many households,'' says Muweme.

It can also be observed that the high price of mealie meal has since the last quarter of 2001
been one of the major contributors to the rise in cost of the Basic Needs Basket. Other non-
food essentials such as cost of housing, charcoal, water, etc., are amounting to K499,200.

As the country celebrates Labour day, which falls on 1 May, it is important that as a nation
we reflect and critically look at the conditions in which labour is living. It is imperative that
labour is taken care of because it plays a very important role in national development.

''It must be realised that the high cost of living is preventing people from effective and
comprehensive participation in national economic activities. This situation is an antithesis to
development,'' says Muweme.

Muweme also observes that it is important that any economic framework that is being
pursued by government does not disadvantage the people, especially the poor whom it is
supposed to serve. Instead, an economic framework must create conditions that will
enhance the dignity of the human person through guaranteeing availability of food, shelter,
medical care and basic education to people. People are the most important resource and
players in economic activity, they are not only the means of achieving development but are
the sole purpose of achieving that development.

The JCTR, following the lead of the Church's Social Teaching, holds that ''the economy is for
the people, people are not for the economy.'' This principle should be guiding both public
and private actions in economic matters. It should make a difference in the priorities,
Muweme feels, of the current negotiations going on over KCM and what to do if Anglo-
American Corporation pulls out.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social Development
Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774, Lusaka,
Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 290759; e-mail: jctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm
PRESS RELEASE 30 MAY 2002

JCTR ENCOURAGED BY GOVERNMENT DECLARATION OF A NATIONAL


DISASTER BUT CALLS FOR LOOKING BEYOND CURRENT SITUATION

The declaration of a national disaster by government in light of the looming hunger situation
in the country offers some hope in dealing with the problem effectively. However, the
situation requires that appropriate and urgent measures are put in place to avert crisis of
huge proportions, says the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR).

Reports that some parts of the country will run out of food as early as July are a clear
indication of the urgency of this problem. ''The current problem of hunger in Zambia might be
devastating because of the context in which it is taking place. This year's hunger situation is
a result of the recent drought the country experienced as well as a carryover from the
previous year's situation of lack of adequate food,'' says Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of
the Economic and Social Development Research Project of the JCTR.

Muweme observes that ''what is needed -- within a short period of time -- is a full-fledged
proactive stance by government in addressing this problem''. While the winter maize project
might contribute towards meeting the national shortfall, the fact that some parts of the
country will run out of food as early as July makes it imperative to also find alternative ways
of addressing the problem.

In addition, it is critical when making maize available, especially in rural communities, to look
at the question of the ability of these communities to afford buying the food in light of the poor
agricultural performance, the source of their income.

''A lot of households in Zambia have suffered prolonged hunger or inadequate food intake.
The only difference between their daily experience and the current situation is the intensity of
the problem and the cause,'' says Muweme. Therefore, it is also important that government
goes beyond looking at the situation in its current form and look at those factors core to
accessing food by households, especially poor households. For example, it is difficult to see
how a situation of unemployment and generally low wages can enable access to adequate
food.

It is a foregone conclusion that one of the major reasons for inadequate food intake by
majority households in Zambia is the high cost of living. The JCTR Basic Needs Basket --
which measures cost of living -- for a family of six for the month of May now stands at
K814,350, slightly declining by K11,150 from the month of April figure of K825,500. This
reduction can be attributed to marginal declines in the cost of mealie meal, kapenta and
charcoal. The cost of food only for May is K317,150 compared to April's figure of K326,300.
However, cost of living is still very high for many households in Zambia.

The JCTR is encouraged by government for declaring a national disaster in view of the
current food situation in the country. ''However,'' says Muweme, ''it will be important to see
that declaration in concrete terms through enabling households to have access to food, an
important element to human dignity.''

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social Development
Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774, Lusaka,
Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 290759; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; jctr@zamnet.zm;
internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 4 JULY 2002
CONSULTATIVE GROUP MEETING
CHALLENGED BY JCTR TO LOOK AT COST OF BASIC NEEDS
The forthcoming Consultative Group meeting between Zambia and Donors is taking
place in a context of many long-standing and current socio-economic challenges that
Zambia is facing, says Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the Economic and Social
Development Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR).
The challenges that Zambia is facing lie in almost all sectors, education, health,
agriculture, mining, manufacturing, etc. For some time now, none of these sectors has
performed well in ensuring that Zambia's development prospects notably and
sustainably improve.
Indeed one of the other greatest challenges that has immense repercussions on
education, health, etc., especially at the household level, is the ever-high cost of living
that has persisted in Zambia. According to the JCTR monthly Basic Needs Basket,
during the first six months of the current year, the cost of food only for a family of six
in Lusaka has stood at an average of K325,043.
''Such a high demand of expenditure on food,'' says Muweme, ''means that either other
basic human needs such as health are not met or if they have to be met, food intake has
to be reduced with such consequences as poor nutritional status of household members.''
According to latest estimates of cost of living in Lusaka for the month of June,
K827,950 is the requirement for a family of six to meet such necessities as food, decent
housing and other essentials. This cost obviously is beyond reach of many households
in Lusaka. Compare this with the average take home pay of primary school teachers of
between K280,000 and K309,000 as well as other categories of workers.
The Basic Needs information as compiled by JCTR currently does not cover many parts
of the country (extension of the research coverage is planned for later this year).
However, it is discouraging to hear recent news reports from the Copperbelt Province
that the price of mealie meal has continued to go up touching close to K37,000 per
25 Kg bag of Breakfast meal.
With an already massive unemployment situation in the Copperbelt Province and
further threats of more people getting unemployed, a rise in cost of living means a lot of
hardships on the part of the people, especially the poor and other disadvantaged groups
such as women.
It is therefore imperative that these problems facing Zambia be the context in which the
discussions of the Consultative Group meeting takes place. JCTR remains hopeful that
the Consultative Group meeting and the recently launched GRZ Poverty Reduction
Strategy Paper (PRSP) will indeed begin a realistic process of bringing an end to the
suffering of the majority Zambian people.
[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social Development
Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774, Lusaka,
Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 290759; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; jctr@zamnet.zm;
internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 30 AUGUST 2002

THE WHY, WHAT AND HOW QUESTIONS


ABOUT THE JCTR BASIC NEEDS BASKET
The all-pervasive focus on the hunger situation in Zambia today highlights especially the
suffering of the poor. The August Basic Needs Basket of the Jesuit Centre for Theological
Reflection (JCTR) provides once again a clear picture of this suffering, says Muweme Muweme,
Coordinator of the Economic and Social Development Research Project of the JCTR.

This month’s report indicates the cost of the Basic Needs Basket is K821,800. The average
cost of food only is K324,500 (compare this with the average take home pay of secretary in the
Civil Service which ranges from K270,00 to K370,000).

The JCTR has been compiling a monthly Basic Needs Basket for a long time. Muweme says,
‘’the purpose of compiling the Basic Needs Basket is to promote economic and social justice
through advocating change in policies that inhibit attainment of sustainable and decent
livelihoods of the majority poor Zambian households.’’

Specifically, the Basic Needs Basket shows the barest minimum requirements for survival for a
family of six in Lusaka. The Basic Needs Basket does not indicate the totality of what it takes to
lead humane lives. However, it highlights how far below the income of people or households fall
to meet basic human needs on a monthly basis. This focus on income is premised on the fact
that while people may suffer from various forms of deprivations, for example, knowledge, access
to clean water, health, etc., income deprivation tends to have wider implications in terms of
limiting people’s choices.

According to Muweme, the Basic Needs Basket is compiled in such a way as to reflect
nutritional balance for a family of six. It is composed of food items such as mealie meal, meat,
eggs, vegetables, cooking oil, sugar, dry fish, milk, etc.

In addition to the food items making-up the Basic Needs Basket, there are non-food items such
as charcoal, wash and bath soap, water, housing, etc. It is important to note that the Basic
Needs Basket does not include in its calculation the cost of health, transport, education,
personal care, etc. These costs are rather difficult to capture on a monthly basis.

Muweme further says that even in its simplest and barest compilation, the Basic Needs Basket
is below the reach of many households. The question that the Basic Needs Basket brings to the
fore is thus: If it costs this much for a minimum requirement for a family of six to survive on, what
then are the cost implications for reasonable or decent living?

The JCTR believes that one of the important objectives of development is the enhancement of a
quality life, manifested in having access to food, health, education and other necessities. The
Basic Needs Basket through giving us a fairly accurate and comprehensive picture of cost of
living in Lusaka, points to how Zambia is doing along these noted dimensions of development,
observes Muweme.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social Development
Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774,
Lusaka, Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet:
www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 5 NOVEMBER 2002

JCTR BASIC NEEDS BASKET REPORT REVEALS


AN ALL-TIME HIGH COST OF LIVING IN LUSAKA

The prevailing situation of cost of living in Lusaka today requires that a family of
six spends K836,550 to meet its basic needs, says the Economic and Social
Development Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR).

According to Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the Economic and Social


Development Research Project, “While this report is at present only referring to
Lusaka, it is important to note that cost of living may be higher in other parts of
the country -- particularly those with serious food deficits such as southern parts
of Zambia -- than what the Lusaka report indicates.”

Indeed this rise in cost of living is a reflection of the current problems of inflation,
exchange rate, scarcities of food, depreciation of the Kwacha, etc., as noted
recently by the Bank of Zambia. The disconcerting part of these problems,
however, is the impact on poor people’s ability to have access to food and other
non-food essentials. The poor are having to bear most of the harsh
consequences from these difficulties Zambia is currently facing.

According to the October 2002 report of the JCTR Basic Needs Basket -- a
measure of cost of living in Lusaka -- a family of six requires K836,550 to meet
its needs of food, housing, water, electricity, etc. If costs of health, transport,
personal effects, etc., are added, the overall cost of the Basic Needs Basket
would definitely be much higher than the figure of K836, 550 reported.

In the face of the current problems Zambia is going through, there is need for
the country to address these problems in ways that will not lead the country into
a deeper crisis. Muweme further says that “All measures designed to deal with
the current economic difficulties of inflation, the exchange rate, etc., must take
into account impact on the poor. The measures must not hurt the poor but must
instead uplift them from their present poor living conditions.”

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social


Development Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological
Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774, Lusaka, Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; e-mail:
socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 2 DECEMBER 2002

MORE EFFORTS NEEDED AT ADDRESSING


ZAMBIA’S IMMINENT DEEPER SOCIAL CRISIS, SAYS JCTR
Zambia has a vast potential in almost all sectors to advance the quality of life of its people.
We need not and should not be facing the current socio-economic problems of hunger, loss
of value of the Kwacha, high cost of living, etc. says the Jesuit Centre for Theological
Reflection (JCTR).

These difficulties in the midst of massive potential are a reflection of a lack of priority setting
and adhering to those priorities, inadequacies in policy design, failure in programme
implementation, etc. Obviously such a situation must be addressed in more pragmatic and
holistic ways. There must be change in the way we have been doing things as a country.

According to Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the Economic and Social Development


Project of the JCTR, “What we know and have seen is obviously that these individual
problems tend to reinforce each other and this is particularly true with the current hunger
problem.”

The recently announced increase in fuel prices will make the situation even more desperate.
We know for certain the wider implications that come with a rise in the price of fuel. The cost
of all basic human necessities will rise. Muweme notes that “Even before the upward
adjustment of the price of fuel takes effect, we saw an increase in the prices of basic food
and non-food essentials mainly due to the loss of value of the Kwacha.”

For example, the November JCTR monthly Basic Needs Basket (measuring cost of living for
a family of six in Lusaka) indicates K357,000 as minimum requirement to meet the barest of
needs of food such as mealie meal, beans, cooking oil, sugar, etc. When you add to this
cost of food other essentials for survival such as soap, housing, energy sources, etc., the
cost goes to K863,400. This is up from an October level of K836,550. The rise in the cost of
the Basic Needs Basket is mainly attributed to the rise in the price of mealie meal, charcoal,
meat, etc. It is clear that in the near future, the price of mealie meal will rise even further
following the recent increase in the price of fuel and the growing shortage of maize.

Also important to note is the fact that even though the Basic Needs Basket report is only
confined to Lusaka, the cost of living, particularly in relation to mealie meal is much higher in
many other parts of the country.

Muweme states that “In a situation such as prevailing today, price increments become even
more unbearable to the poor. Coping or survival strategies have been almost exhausted
especially in those areas that experienced low agricultural production due to drought.
Indeed, as past trends have shown, it is even more worrying to note that people will face
more survival difficulties in the coming months of December and January.”

Because of this critical situation, the JCTR expresses strong compassion for and solidarity
with the suffering people in the country. We pledge to redouble our efforts to promote a just
response to meet their needs. We call upon all political parties, churches, NGOs,
international partners, government offices and political figures to commit themselves to
meeting the crisis as their number one priority in the weeks ahead.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social Development
Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774,
Lusaka, Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 290759; e-mail: jctr@zamnet.zm; internet:
www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 31 DECEMBER 2002
YEAR 2002 CHARACTERISED BY DISTURBING
SOCIAL CHALLENGES, OBSERVES JCTR
The last twelve months of 2002 have seen a serious deterioration in the social conditions of
most Zambian people, says the Economic and Social Development Research Project of the
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR).
This situation should be seen, however, as a consequence of long-standing problems
coupled with unexpected set backs such as the pull out of Anglo-American and the adverse
weather experienced in the 2001-2002 agricultural season. The most unfortunate thing
about Zambia’s socio-economic problems is that they have tended to reinforce each other in
ways that have made resolving them extremely difficult.
According to Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of JCTR Economic and Social Development
Research Project, “The bad situation also implies that most of the country’s economic reform
programmes – imposed by external forces such as the World Bank and IMF -- have not
delivered as anticipated.” Certainly critical in the whole mix of problems Zambia is facing has
been the severe hunger problem experienced in some parts of Zambia which led to immense
pressure on the country’s food requirements. Muweme notes that food is our most important
and basic commodity, but that in recent years Zambia has consistently failed to provide
adequate food for the people.
Because of factors also associated with non-productivity of the economy – especially in the
mining and manufacturing sectors -- the Kwacha has been on a downward trend in its
relationship with other foreign currencies. At the start of 2002, the exchange rate was
around K3500 to the US dollar; towards the end of the year it had depreciated to over K5000
to the dollar. “What is most unfortunate about the fluctuating Kwacha value is that
depreciation sets in motion consumer price increases,” says Muweme, “but appreciation
such as is currently being experienced does not in fact bring any lower prices to consumers.”
The JCTR Basic Needs Basket that measures cost of living for a family of six in Lusaka
points to the fact that the cost of food, particularly mealie meal, still accounts for much of the
rising cost of living in Zambia. A review of trends in the cost of food for the year 2002 (shown
in Figure 1) reveals that most of the sharp rises in the overall cost of food are associated with
increases in the price of mealie meal.

Figure 1

Zambia recorded sharp increases in cost of living particularly during the last quarter of the
year 2002, significantly associated with the loss in value of the Kwacha and the strong
pressures to meet the national requirements of maize.
For example, in January 2002 the cost of mealie meal was averaging K36,000 for 25 kg, that
of total food only (cooking oil, bread, milk, vegetables, mealie meal, eggs, beans, etc.) was
averaging K324,650, and the overall Basic Needs Basket (food and other essentials such as
energy, water, wash and bath soap, housing, etc) was K829,250. By December 2002 the
cost of mealie meal was averaging K45,000, that of total food only was averaging K380,150,
and the overall Basic Needs Basket was K887,550.
Zambia has failed to meet the macro-economic targets set in the 2002 GRZ Budget (e.g., 13
percent end-year inflation, 4.3 percent growth rate, etc.). Such targets are important, even
though in the Zambian context they usually have seen have little or no consequences for the
average person’s quality of life. According to Muweme, failure to attain the set targets is an
indication that the Zambian economy in addition to having suffered a setback in agriculture
still remains unproductive, an issue that is critical to the uplifting of the living standards of the
people. This failure also points to the fact that the government was overly ambitious in
setting targets in relation to a realistic assessment of the productive base of the economy.
Politically, the country faces a situation of serious uncertainty which has bad economic
consequences. The still-pending presidential and parliamentary election petitions and the
revelations of deep-seated corruption hinder the attraction of needed foreign investment.
“As we look ahead,“ notes Muweme, “it is important to recognize that sharp increase in
prices of the Basic Needs Basket in an economy presently facing multiple difficulties
(unemployment, HIV/AIDS, food insecurity, etc.) excludes people from what is necessary for
human survival as well as central for ensuring human dignity.” He adds, “It is particularly
disturbing that prices at the end of the year invariably set the tone of what is to come in the
following year.”
At best, the socio-economic situation ahead for Zambia is deeply disturbing. Particularly
critical and difficult to predict is what will happen in the agricultural sector. This will determine
whether or not Zambia will have adequate food to meet its national requirements. Moreover,
there are already reports of global increases in the price of crude oil. Moving into 2003, there
still remains the likelihood of further increases in the price of crude oil if war erupts in the
Middle East.
“As we plan for the future,” argues Muweme, “it is the social justice view of JCTR that while
the setting and attaining of macro-economic targets is important, it is equally important that
these targets be studied and evaluated alongside quality of life indicators that measure social
outcomes in a concrete fashion.” That is why the approach of the Poverty Reduction
Strategy Paper (PRSP) and the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG)
are so very important, economically and politically, in the current situation.
For example, what is the relationship between people’s income and cost of living? How
many households have three meals per day? Where are we moving on literacy? On health?
On housing? These are the fundamental questions whose answers point accurately to the
real “workings” of a people-centred economy. For how else should any development
programmes be realistically assessed other than through such social criteria?
Although Zambia’s difficulties may seem insurmountable, they however lie on a foundation of
hope, especially when one looks at the country’s resource endowments, its enjoyment of
peace, its people, its many potentials, etc. The JCTR hopes the year 2003 will see positive
changes in people’s lives and pledges that it will continue to work diligently for those
changes.
[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social Development
Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774, Lusaka,
Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 290759; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; web: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 10 FEBRUARY 2003

PEOPLE’S HARDSHIPS HIGHTENED:


BASIC NEEDS COST A MILLION, SAYS JCTR
In the midst of widespread human deprivations, cost of living for a family of six in Lusaka
shows a sharp increase beyond reach of many households leading to acute and widespread
hardships, observes the Economic and Social Development Research Project of the Jesuit
Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR).

According to the monthly basic needs report that shows cost of living in Lusaka for January
2003, a family of six now needs an average of K401,050 for food only (kapenta, beans, meat,
eggs, vegetables, milk, cooking oil, etc.) and an average total cost of K1,029,159 if non-
essential food items are included.

Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the Economic and Social Development Research Project,
observes that the average cost of food only in January is an increase of K20,900 from the
month of December average cost of K380,150. The sharp increase has occurred in almost
all commodities with the exception of mealie meal which has shown some stability.

For example, the average price of 4 litres cooking oil (required as minimum for a family of
six) has risen from K29,800 to K32,400. The cost of green vegetables has risen from K1,700
per kilogramme in December 2002 to K2,300 in January 2003. Also the average price of
tomatoes has risen from K1,500 per kilogramme in December 2002 to K4,000 in January
2003.

Key to these upward price adjustments are such factors as the difficulties associated with the
growing of vegetables (which have recorded a huge increase) during the rainy season,
specifically the need for chemical applications to prevent insect infestation. Moreover, the
general poor state of the economy and in particular the Kwacha has continued to record loss
in value in relationship to other currencies, reflected for example, in the rising cost of cooking
oil.

“A fundamental point to note,” says Muweme, “is that human essentials are not only confined
to food requirements.” In December 2002, the average cost of non-food essentials such as
housing, water, electricity, wash and bath soap, etc., was K507,400. In the month of
January, the average cost increased by K120,700 to K628,100. A huge proportion of the
increase is coming from the cost of housing which has recorded a sharp rise. Throughout
Lusaka, rentals have been on the increase in the past few months.

If we add the average cost of food and non-food essentials, the total cost of the Basic Needs
Basket for January is K1,029,159, an increase of K141,600 from the December 2002 figure
of K887,550. This indeed is beyond the reach of many households and makes the monthly
earning of K160,000 as the PAYE tax exemption threshold extremely inadequate. It also
means acute hardships for the households.

“Government has made efforts in this year’s national budget towards broadening the tax
base and we would like to believe that one of the fundamental aims of this measure is to
ensure that the tax burden is not disproportionately shared. However, one wonders how the
proposed threshold for tax exemption is consistent with this objective,” says Muweme. In
any case, by putting money in people’s pockets through a measure such as adjusting the tax
exemption threshold, government will still guarantee some revenue through the Value Added
Tax. Simply put, the more money people have, the more they will engage in some
purchases which will raise income generated from VAT for the government.
[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Economic and Social Development
Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774, Lusaka,
Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 290759; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; web: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 4 MARCH 2003

GOVERNMENT MUST RESOLVE THREATS OF


CURRENT WORK STOPPAGES JUSTLY, SAYS JCTR
The threats of work stoppages prevailing in the country today must be resolved in ways that
take care of the needs of both the employees and the employers, says the Jesuit Centre for
Theological Reflection (JCTR). “This essential two-way relationship,” says Muweme
Muweme, Coordinator of the Social Conditions Research Project of the JCTR, “has on many
occasions in the Zambian context not been beneficial to the employees.”

The sad situation in Zambia is that not only do employees suffer from inadequate wages, but
there is also a serious absence of decent employment. Thus high levels of unemployment
are essentially a fertile ground for exploitative tendencies on the part of employers.

By and large, most employees in Zambia earn far less than what is required to meet their
daily needs. The Zambian people, especially the poor in and out of employment, are
restricted in terms of health and education, decent housing, adequate food, and other basics.

According to the latest JCTR Basic Needs Basket, the overall cost of basic needs has
increased by K6,150 from K1,029,150 for the month of January to K1,035,300 for the month
of February. The cost of non-essential food items shows an increase of K4,400 from the
January cost of K628,100 to K632,500. The cost of food only has increased from K401,050
for the month of January to K402,800 for the month of February. This increase is mainly due
to upward adjustments in the prices of mealie meal and cooking oil.

It must be realized that what the Basic Needs Basket highlights is not a total picture of what it
takes for decent human living. For example, personal care, transport, health, etc., are not
included in its calculation. However, it forms a fairly accurate picture of cost of living and its
relationship to people’s incomes.

According to Muweme, it is paramount that the current negotiations taking place between
different employee unions and their respective employers be looked at in the context of the
requirements for decent survival. For example, teachers’ demands for 1.5 million Kwacha
monthly salary may appear highly unrealistic. But considering that after tax, take-home pay
is only a little over 1 million Kwacha, it is clear that this salary cannot meet the most modest
demands of the Basic Needs Basket.

Core to this situation of threats of work stoppages is one fundamental experience the country
has been going through over the years, namely, deterioration in the living conditions of the
majority of Zambian people. This has been caused by prolonged economic policy failure
attributed to both local and international factors.

“As the people of Zambia move towards reviewing the Republican Constitution, it will be
critical to see that basic needs are treated as human rights. It is important for government to
realize that meeting basic needs of people, especially of the poor, is not an option but an
imperative,” says Muweme.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project
of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774, Lusaka, Zambia; tel:
260-1-290410; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 7 APRIL 2003

JCTR LINKS COST OF LIVING ISSUES WITH WAR IN IRAQ


The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) says the monthly Basic Needs Basket
continues to show that high demands are being placed on families to meet their daily needs
of food and other non-food essentials.

In the latest Basic Needs Basket report for March 2003, a family of six in Lusaka requires
K400,050 to meet its needs of food only. If other essential non-food items such as energy,
wash and bath soap, housing water, etc., are added to the cost of food, the amount goes as
high as K1,033,750. “Indeed the cost of the Basic Needs Basket would even be much higher
if costs such as personal care, transport, clothes, health and education were added,” says
Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the Social Conditions Research Project of the JCTR.

According to Muweme, it is encouraging to observe that the Basic Needs Basket received
significant consideration in recent salary negotiations by trade unions. “Demands by
teachers for a salary of K1,500,000 are strongly justified,” states Muweme, “when one takes
into account the basic essentials that a family requires for survival.”

More explicitly, the civil servants’ demands are justified because they show a relationship
between people’s income and cost of living, a fundamental guide for arriving at wages at
every level and type of employment. Muweme says, “It is through such an approach that we
see the imperative nature of measuring living standards by quality of life indicators such as
the number of meals a family has per day.” Therefore, the government’s settlement for less
than what was requested by unions should be considered only as a temporary arrangement.

The government’s frequent complaint that it does not have the resources to meet the
workers’ demands must be honestly evaluated in the light of other expenses that resources
are easily found for, such as expensive travel abroad by large presidential parties, benefits
for high government officials, proposed funding of political parties, large motorcades to
accompany airport departures and arrivals, unnecessary defense spending, etc. Frankly
speaking, the real issue is not resources but priorities!

Adding to the uncertainly of the socio-economic situation in Zambia is the tragedy of the war
in Iraq. “We know very well that while Iraq is very far away geographically” says Muweme,
“the consequences of the war are in fact very close to us in Zambia.” The price of oil will go
up, affecting food prices here, development assistance will be diverted, debt relief will be
delayed, and political instability will be fostered.

Going to the war without the approval of the United Nations and arguing a doctrine of
national security that allows the United States to impose its own administration in Iraq
threatens sustainable international relations for peace and thus endangers Zambia’s future
also.

JCTR therefore joins church leaders, governments, and concerned people around the world
that have opposed this war as unjust and immoral. It implores the United Nations to act to
bring about an end to the war. JCTR takes this position because of its concerns about the
lives of people in Iraq and in Zambia.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project of the
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 7774, Lusaka, Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410;
fax: 260-1-290759; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm].
JCTR PRESS RELEASE 9 MAY 2003

HOLISTIC AND DECENTRALISED APPROACHES CRITICAL TO


EFFICIENCY AND EQUITY IN HEALTH SERVICES, SAYS JCTR
Holistic and decentralized rather than sectoral and centralised approaches are key to effective
and equitable delivery of health services in Zambia, observes the Jesuit Centre for Theological
Reflection (JCTR). This is the message of a major study released by JCTR on 09 May 2003.

The study, entitled “Health Status and Health Equity: A Case Study of Zambian Households in
Selected Areas,” was commissioned by JCTR and conducted by Prof. V. Seshamani and Dr.
C. Mwikisa of the Economics Department of the University of Zambia. One of its prominent
findings is that centrality has a consequence of the inequity that emerges in terms of the
distribution of health facilities and services as well as overall development. For example,
Chongwe district, despite being in the best fairing province of Lusaka, has a higher incidence
of mortality and illness compared to Mongu, the capital of the most deprived province.

Moreover, the study established that people do not see much benefit from the health facilities
that are not adequately equipped with competent medical personnel and supplies. They were
concerned, in particular, with the continued lack of drugs at health facilities. This forced them
to use drugs whose quality they were not sure of. The situation also means that they obtained
drugs from relatives and friends or purchased from chemist shops. They are also not aware of
the right dosages of the drugs resulting often in over-consumption and consequent resistance
to drugs over a period of time.

The JCTR study also notes that if there are many sick members in a household or members
who are chronically ill, even if they are receiving treatment for which households are spending
money, it does not imply that households can afford such expenditures. Often, this expenditure
may be incurred by cutting back on food and children’s education. A household may consume
less food or pull children out of school so that the resultant savings may be used to treat sick
members. This is a very dangerous situation arising out of the inadequate household incomes
characteristic of most households in Zambia.

“This fact is critically important,” says Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the Social
Conditions Research Project of the JCTR “and is one of the reasons the JCTR has been
advocating for policies that enhance living conditions through ensuring that households earn
adequate incomes.” The just-released April 2003 Basic Needs Basket report -- though
confined to Lusaka but certainly giving an idea of what is obtaining elsewhere in the country
in terms of cost of living -- continues to show high cost of living for a family of six. Currently
the cost of food for a family of six in Lusaka is K383,650. This continues to be high, despite
some reduction in the price of mealie meal because of the start of the harvest of the current
maize crop. The total Basic Needs Basket, which includes non-food items such as housing
and charcoal, was K1,030,850 for April 2003.

Sadly, the worst affected households are those headed by females, says Muweme. The study
established that gender inequity exists in respect of health status and affordability of health
care. This study serves to reinforce the broader findings from numerous researches that gender
differentials constitute a serious development issue that needs to be addressed. Furthermore,
the growing impoverishment of households and the incidence of orphanhood caused by death
of parents from disease, largely due to AIDS, have been generating growing numbers of
children dependent on other households to take care of them. This in turn leads to deterioration
in the living conditions of these latter households. The burden of supporting additional
children seems to be a widespread phenomenon in both rural and urban households.

RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE STUDY

Based on some the major findings highlighted above, the JCTR study on Health Equity makes
the following recommendations:

• First, poverty reduction and development programmes should not be concentrated only
in the vicinity of major towns, cities and capitals. This results in an “out of sight, out of
mind” approach to development! Programmes need to be evenly spread over the entire
country. Indeed, given the higher levels of deprivation already obtaining in the more
remote areas in the country as a whole as well as within each province and district,
there is need to focus development efforts more on these areas than on those that are
already empowered to some extent in respect of various dimensions of development
such as social services, employment, infrastructure, etc.

• Second, the problem of health has to be addressed from a holistic perspective because
of the inter-linkage of health with other elements such as food, nutrition, education, etc.
Spending to cure the illness of the sick members of the household by reducing food and
nutritional intake of other healthy members, for example, would increase the
probability of the latter also falling ill and thereby warrant further future spending on
curative health. Thus the affordability of health services must be gauged not simply by
the actual spending by households on the services but in relation to the overall basic
needs of the households.

• Third, as has been suggested in other major studies cited in the JCTR report, targeting
beneficiary groups in poverty reduction programmes should use, for greater
effectiveness, “Poverty + Health, notably HIV/AIDS” as the formula to assure more
effective coverage.

• Fourth, in working out exemption mechanisms (e.g., doing away with cost-sharing in
health services), account should be taken of other variables other than monetary ones
only. Given the scarcity of resources, use of broader variables, like the ones used in this
study to construct socio-economic indices, will ensure that only the needy benefit from
the well intended exemption mechanisms.

• Fifth, health programmes and more broadly poverty reduction and development
programmes must target female-headed households. The gender element is critical to
overall effective development efforts in Zambia.

According to the JCTR, if Zambia is ever to turn the corner on development – that is, move
away from severe poverty conditions and advance toward sustainable livelihoods for all –
there must be a marked improvement in the delivery of education and health services. “No
country develops without an educated and healthy population, states Muweme. “This position
will ever be central to JCTR..”

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research


Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774, Lusaka,
Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 260-1-290759; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm;
internet: www.jctr.org.zm].
PRESS RELEASE MAY 2003

JCTR URGES FOR “FOOD ON THE TABLE”


DISCUSSIONS TO BE AS KEY AS POLITICAL DISCUSSIONS
The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) has urged for an equal weight of public
discussion around politics and food. “It is obviously the case,” says Muweme Muweme,
Coordinator of the JCTR Social Conditions Research Project, “that the realm of politics has a
strong bearing on national resource allocation including food.” This inevitably demonstrates
the need to pay particular attention also to economic issues surrounding people’s well being,
especially as it concerns households having access to three meals a day, a situation which is
presently lacking in Zambia.

The JCTR monthly Basic Needs Basket, a tool for the estimation of the cost of living for a
family of six in Lusaka, has once again shown that to survive or indeed to have access to
three meals per day for a family of six is the hardest thing to achieve for most households in
Lusaka and wider in Zambia, both for households with members in and out of employment.

In its composition, the Basic Needs Basket highlights average costs of food items such as
mealie meal, beans, kapenta, cooking oil, eggs, meat, vegetables, etc., and essential non-
food items such as energy, water, housing wash and bath soap, etc. For the month of May
the total cost of the Basic Needs Basket amounted to K1,028,650. There is some reduction
in the overall cost of food only compared to the previous month, mainly due to the reduction
in the price of mealie meal which has gone down from an average of K41,800 in April to
K36,500 in May.

While the price of mealie meal -- a significant determinant in the overall cost of food only --
has dropped mainly because of positive outcomes in the current agricultural season, other
food items such as vegetables have shown either some relative stability or some increase
compared to last month.

One woman trader of vegetables at one market place in Lusaka, spoke with the JCTR and
had this to say about the price of vegetables: “It is usually the case that we experience
reductions in the price of vegetables around this time of the year, leading up to the time when
it becomes very cold. But this year has not seen any remarkable price reductions of
vegetables. Maybe when we start moving towards the hot season.” Average take-home
wages continue to be much lower than the estimated needs of households, for example,
nurses take-home wages range from K461,000 to K715,000, that of teachers range from
K407,000 to K913,000.

While Zambia will experience some positive outcomes in terms of an increased crop harvest,
with the positive impact of easing the pressure of rising cost of living, the JCTR urges for a
movement from the “poverty of politics” defined in a narrower sense, to “politics of poverty”
whose centrality will be issues of human wellbeing, fundamentally food.

Any criteria of judgment of development achievements in the Zambian context must not
leave out this key issue of food. “For this reason,” states Peter Henriot, Director of the JCTR,
“we look today for genuine leaders of Zambia to speak more about the economic and social
issues of the survival of the people than about the political and personal issues of the
survival of politicians!”

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project of the
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 7774, Lusaka, Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410;
fax: 260-1-290759; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE JUNE 2003
GOVERNMENT MUST PUT HUMAN INTEREST AT THE CENTRE
OF THE CURRENT PROBLEM OF BUDGET OVERRUN, SAYS THE JCTR
What should be the guiding principles surrounding the proposals or solutions to the
anticipated problem of Zambia’s national budget overrun? This is the question posed by the
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) in light of the current problem and debate on
the anticipated national budget overrun.

At one level it is a matter of resolving the problem in the interest of future economic
prosperity of the country. At another level, however, it is matter of ensuring that the
conditions of employees, on which development attainment is predicated, are given the
critical consideration necessary for development to take place.

“The people as a means and an end to development is where the current crisis of our
situation of the national budget overrun lies,” says Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the
Social Conditions Research Project of the JCTR. Simply put, which way should government
take? Starving its people for anticipated future economic redress or pay now what is
justifiable in light of high cost of living? While on one hand future economic prosperity is
critical, on the other hand to deny what is supposed to be paid as a wage sufficient to meet
household needs is unjust and an antithesis to development. It is to arrive to the conclusion
that government has no money, therefore let the employee suffer various forms of
deprivation.

There have been many years of hard sacrifice by the Zambian people as they have
contributed to the process of national economic building. However, solutions that have been
prescribed and implemented have not in fact brought substantial curative action to the
continuously ailing economy. Prominent among the myriad constituents of the ailing
economy is cost of living. “In fact, says, Muweme, “this is where the justified demands that
have led to an upward adjustment of wages and housing allowances are coming from.”

The Basic Needs Basket, the JCTR monthly estimation of the cost of living for a family of six
in Lusaka, has, despite recording reductions in the price of mealie, consistently shown
serious difficulties that households are encountering in meeting their daily essential
requirements. The total cost of the Basic Needs Basket for the month of June stands at
K1,012,100. For May it stood at K1,028,650. The cost of food only is K365,400. In May
food only was costing K376,950. The reduction in the cost of food only is on account of the
lowering price of maize because of the adequate harvest the country is experiencing this
year.

Muweme further says that in calculating the total Basic Needs Basket, costs of transport,
clothing, health, personal care, etc., are not included. If these costs were to be included, the
cost of the Basic Needs Basket would certainly be higher than what is being presented.

In calling for human considerations in dealing with the current problem of national budget
overrun, the JCTR is not advocating for consumption at the expense of production. Rather
the JCTR is placing human considerations high due to the realization that wages that enable
employees to actually experience sustainable decent living conditions actually facilitate the
process of development. Certainly the demands of the employees for wage adjustments are
justified. The critical question thus becomes: why is government unable to meet such
justifiable demands? If we looked critically and honestly at government expenditure patterns,
would the anticipated budget overrun be as grave as it appears or as difficult to manage as
government leaders claim?
[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project of the
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410;
fax: 260-1-290759; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 11 AUGUST 2003

JCTR BASIC NEEDS BASKET RECORDS LOW


MEALIE MEAL PRICE, OTHER FOOD ITEMS REMAIN HIGH
One of the key benefits of focusing on agriculture, especially sustainable ways of
maize production in the Zambian context, is its positive impact on the cost of living of
all our citizens, says the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR).

This is according to the Basic Needs Basket, the JCTR monthly estimation of the
cost of living for a family of six in Lusaka. Once again the Basket has recorded
some reduction in the price of mealie meal. The price of mealie meal has declined
by K3,500, moving from K30,500 for the month of June to K27,000 for the month of
July.

“While this reduction is a positive outcome, particularly in the urban setting, there
must be a balance in which such a situation is taking care of the interests of both the
producers of maize, especially the small-scale farmers, and the urban consumers,”
says Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the Social Conditions Research Project of
the JCTR.

This reduction could be a reflection of a very low price at which the maize is being
acquired. This may be because the small-scale farmers are unable to store the
maize for sale later when the price is favourable. They may also have to sell even at
a lower price than the recommended “floor price” of K30,000 because of other
pressing household needs.

It is also important to acknowledge that while the price of mealie meal has gone
down, other food items such as meat, eggs, cooking oil, bread, sugar, kapenta, dry
fish, etc., have remained high, meaning that households continue to experience
serious difficulties in meeting their daily essential requirements.

The cost of food only is now K357,200. For the month of June it was K365,400. The
cost of essential non-food items such as charcoal, wash and bath soap, jelly (for
example, Vaseline), etc., is now K648,200. The cost of essential non-food items has
gone up slightly by K1,500 from the month of June figure of K646,700. Thus the
total cost of the Basic Needs Basket (i.e., cost of food plus cost of essential non-food
items ) for the month of July stands at K1,005,400 compared to K1,012,100 for the
month of June. “This is indeed a very slight decrease,” says Muweme.

The JCTR conducts the Basic Needs Basket survey as a way of highlighting the
daily challenges that the majority of Zambian households encounter in trying to meet
decent sustainable livelihoods. “The inability,” states Muweme, “to lead decent lives
on account of meeting food as well as non-food requirements in sufficient ways has
unfortunately been one of the most prominent failures of the Zambian society. As a
consequence, it must be taken into serious consideration during the current
contentious discussions on civil servants wages and conditions of service.”

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project
of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia; tel:
260-1-290410; fax: 260-1-290759; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet:
www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 01 SEPTEMBER 2003

JCTR BASIC NEEDS BASKET


COSTING K1,014,500 IN THE MONTH OF AUGUST

The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) compiles the Basic
Needs Basket for a family of six in Lusaka every month. This is an effort
aimed at giving a picture of the struggle confronting households in
meeting their daily essential needs. The Basic Needs Basket shows the
relationship between household incomes and requirements for basic
human survival. It highlights the cost of food and essential non-food
items.

According to estimates of the cost of the Basic Needs Basket for the
month of August, the total cost of food and essential non-food items is
K1,014,500. Food only, that is, mealie meal, beans, kapenta,
vegetables, bread, eggs, sugar, etc., is costing K367,700. The cost of
food only has gone up by K10,500 from the July cost of K357,200.
Upward adjustments have been recorded in the cost of beans, meat, dry
fish, etc. The cost of mealie meal has slightly gone up from K27,000 in
July to the current figure of K27,600.

The cost of essential non-food items such as charcoal, wash and bath
soap, jelly, energy, etc., has been recorded at K646,800. The cost of
essential non-food items in July were recorded at K648,200. There has
been a slight reduction for the month of August of K1,400, on account of
a downward adjustment in the cost of charcoal. Other items such as
wash soap, jelly (e.g., vaseline) have recorded some increases.

The JCTR hopes that the recent marginal reductions in the cost of fuel
(petrol and diesel) will have some positive influence in the overall cost of
living in the coming weeks.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research


Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774,
Lusaka, Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 260-1-290759; e-mail:
socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 08 OCTOBER 2003

POLITICS OF IMPROVING THE ECONOMY KEY TO FINDING


SOLUTIONS TO ZAMBIA’S PROBLEMS, SAYS THE JCTR
Zambia’s need for a strategic and effective focus on its economy remains at all times highly
critical. “This focus on the economy is one that must not be in proclamation only. It should
translate into actions that will lead to improved living conditions by the majority of Zambian
people through having access to employment, adequate and nutritionally balanced food
intake, quality education and health care, employment, etc.” says Muweme Muweme,
Coordinator of the Social Conditions Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological
Reflection (JCTR).

The longstanding need for focus on the national economy and improving standards of living
among the Zambian people should also be seen as a political issue that every politician
should be challenged to address beyond daily rhetorical statements that the Zambian people
have been subjected to.

The people of Zambia have faced a lot of challenges, among them the ever rising cost of
living that mean always inadequate food intake, lack of access to quality health care and
education. The Basic Needs Basket that shows the cost for fundamental survival for a family
of six in Lusaka has again revealed the magnitude of the challenges faced by the Zambian
people. In the month of September, the Basket has recorded increases, among others, in
the prices of meat, dry fish, kapenta, beans and eggs.

According to one Lusaka meat trader, “The price of meat has gone up because of reduced
supply of the product to the market. This is because there has been no pressure among
households that own cattle to sell some of their cattle in order to meet other food
requirements such as maize, as is usually the case during seasons of poor agricultural
production. This has resulted in reduced supply of meat leading to price increases in the
commodity in urban areas.”

Food only is now costing K384,450. In the month of August, food only was costing
K367,700. There has been an upward adjustment of K16,750. The total cost of the Basic
Needs Basket, that is, food and non-food essential items such as energy, water, housing,
electricity, wash and bath soap, etc., for the month of September is K1,027,450. This figure
represents an increase of K12,950 from the August figure of K1,014,500. The Basic Needs
Basket does not include costs for other necessary requirements such as personal care,
transport, health, education, etc.

It is true that what people can effectively achieve in national development is influenced by
enabling conditions of good health, access to quality education, creation of economic
opportunities, etc. All these elements, as already observed, are unfortunately strikingly
lacking in Zambia. “It is also true that Zambia is in greater need of a culture of initiatives or
creativity. For such a situation to be achieved, it is critical that people are released from the
incessant daily preoccupations of meeting basic needs,” says Muweme.

It is JCTR’s hope that in the months to come, as the Republican President has indicated, the
nation will move towards more explicit focus on social economic issues that will lead to the
improvement of people’s lives in Zambia.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project
of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia; tel:
260-1-290410; fax: 260-1-290759; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet:
www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 03 NOVEMBER 2003

THE JCTR OBSERVES THAT REALISTIC ECONOMIC


PROJECTIONS VITAL TO EFFECTIVE NATIONAL PLANNING
A wide consultative national budget formulation is critical to national development as citizens’ desires
and aspirations of how, where and what their money is going to be spent on are likely to be
represented, says the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR).

“As the nation proceeds with its new plans of formulating the national budget under the Medium Term
Expenditure Framework (MTEF), two issues to this important event need to be highlighted,” says
Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the Social Conditions Research Project of the JCTR. “First is that
concerning the process of arriving at a national budget that is participative in character. Second is
the content of the budget itself.”

So far the process seems to be commendable as it represents government’s effort at meeting the
needs of its people in national budget formulation. One of the difficulties, however, is the content
issue of actual realization of the economic targets or projections. Zambia has had to revise its
economic targets in the past. This means either that the nation did not work hard enough to achieve
the set targets or the projections were not realistic in relation to Zambia’s situations.

The government’s “Green Paper” outlining the MTEF projects, among other things , that the economy
will grow by 4.5% in 2004 and 5.0% in 2005 and 2006. Year-end inflation will be reduced to a single
digit of 6.5% in 2006. It is also expected that there will be (nominal) increases in domestic revenues.

The growth of the Zambian economy is predicated on agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, mining,
energy, construction and transport. Mining is thought to contribute to growth through the expected
favourable prices of copper, especially as Zambia will increase its output of copper following the
opening up of new mines. “This assumption,” says Muweme, “of anticipated rise in prices of copper
on the world market is one of the key contributing factors to Zambia’s current debt crisis. One hopes
that the nation’s preoccupation with copper mining will not divert focus on current efforts at
diversifying Zambia’s economy, especially the priority sector of agriculture.”

Inflation has been one of the major problems of our country, affecting commercial bank lending
interests, affecting planning at various levels and particularly hurting the poor most. Addressing
inflation would also lessen hardships that the majority poor people of Zambia face. Muweme further
says that the continuous rise in the prices of food has been one of the fundamental problems of
inflation.

For example, the JCTR monthly Basic Needs Basket for a family of six in Lusaka has shown
increases almost every month in the price of food. The cost of food only for a family of six is currently
at K390,700. In September food only was costing K384,450 and in August it was K367,700. Trends
in the previous years have also shown that prices of food tend to rise towards the end of the year.
This means that not only are the poor suffering from other forms of deprivations but are having
difficulties in accessing the most fundamental aspect of their welfare, good food for good nutrition.

The total cost of the Basic Needs Basket, that is, food and non-food essential items such as energy,
water, housing, electricity, wash and bath soap, etc., has increased from K1,027,450 in September to
presently costing K1,031,700. This shows an increase of K4,250. Note that costs for other
necessary requirements such as personal care, transport, health, education, etc., are not included in
the calculation of the total Basic Needs Basket.

The JCTR views the current process surrounding the MTEF as critical to national development and
one that has been long overdue. But more critical is to have realistic economic projections that lead
to effective planning.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project of the
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410;
fax: 260-1-290759; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 05 DECEMBER 2003
DEBATE ON THE MODE OF ADOPTING THE CONSTITUTION
SHOULD NOT BE SUBJECTED TO A TRADEOFF, SAYS JCTR
The current debate on the mode of adopting the Zambian constitution should not find
expression in a tradeoff between meeting people’s needs such as health and education
on one hand and the holding of a Constituent Assembly on the other, observes the Jesuit
Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR).

According to the JCTR, subjecting such a debate along such tradeoffs is an indication
of a lack of a deeper understanding of the link between a good constitution with the
consequence of good governance and people’s wellbeing manifest in their ability to
meet basic needs of life.

Currently, the cost of basic needs measured in the JCTR monthly Basket of food and
essential non-food items is K1,032,800. For the month of October, the cost of basic
needs was K1,031,700. Food alone is currently costing K383,800. For the month of
October food alone was costing K390,700. The downward adjustment in the cost of
food only is partly on account of a reduction in the price of mealie meal.

However, the cost of essential non-food items has increased mainly because of an
upward adjustment in the price of charcoal, now costing K26,000 from K22,000 in the
month of October. The price of charcoal is expected to increase further because of the
rainy season which make both production and transportation of charcoal difficult.

Undoubtedly Zambia’s harsh socio-economic situation brings into sharper focus the
obvious question of “What should come first, paying attention to the current poverty
and misery or addressing the need for a constituent assembly which might lead to
guaranteeing people’s political and probably economic freedoms?”

It is not a point of contention that a good constitution will give people the opportunity
to strongly demand certain needs such as education and health and how these needs
should be met. In other words, a good “people’s constitution” (which will surely
depend on a Constituent Assembly) will give people the ability to make claims for
improving their lives.

It is the difficult economic circumstances which Zambia is facing that are leading to
encouraging a tradeoff between meeting people’s basic needs and holding a Constituent
Assembly. What is important to realize however, is that without a good constitution,
the prospect of people experiencing improved living conditions become minimal,
especially in crisis situations. The JCTR feels that if budgetary tradeoffs are necessary
to fund a Constituent Assembly, cutbacks should not be made in essential social
services but in non-essential superfluities such as new vehicles, overseas travels, by-
elections, etc.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project of the
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410;
fax: 260-1-290759; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 08 JANUARY 2004
A MIX OF A RAY OF HOPE AND SOME SETBACKS:
THE ZAMBIAN PEOPLE’S EXPERIENCES IN 2003
A mix of a ray of hope and some setbacks characterized experiences of the Zambian people
in 2003, observes the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR). The year 2003
witnessed some improvement in the agricultural sector which resulted in adequate food
production for the Zambian people. However, other sectors of the economy experienced
problems, to mention in particular the education sector on which the formation of human
capital, the breaking of the cycle of poverty and development are dependent on.

According to Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the Social Conditions Research Project of


the JCTR, the positive and encouraging outcomes such as comparatively low inflation levels,
some relative stability in the price of mealie meal, lessening of loss of value of the Kwacha,
etc., associated with the positive outcome in the agricultural sector, prove JCTR’s incessant
call on government over the years to be involved in the agricultural sector and also to put the
agricultural sector as one of the priority sectors of the Zambian economy. It is important,
however, to note that food production is one thing and having access to the produced food
another.

The JCTR through its monthly Basic Needs Basket report (a measure of the cost of living for
a family of six in Lusaka) has over the years shown heightened hardships occasioned by
price increases in food and essential non-food items necessary for decent human survival.
Muweme says that “One of the strengths of an approach such as the Basic Needs Basket is
that it highlights the extent of the challenge faced by the people in meeting a minimum
standard of living.”

A review of the Basic Needs Basket for the year 2003 shows that the cost of food alone
averaged K401,050 in January and 401,800 in December. These were the highest costs in
food alone recorded in 2003. It is important to observe that over the years mealie meal has
had a significant influence on the overall cost of food. Overall, the same can be said about
2003. However, for 2003 this influence heavily occurred in the first half and part of the
second half (July). During the last half, other food items such as meat and fish, and
especially green vegetables in the month of December, recorded significant increases which
had a bearing on the overall cost of food. It is also important to note that there was a
remarkable decline in the cost of food during the beginning of the second half (July) of the
year with some increases beginning to occur in the last quarter, followed by some decline in
November. (see figure below)
Figure
JCTR Basic Needs Basket : Cost of food, 2003
410,000

400,000

390,000
Value in Kwacha

380,000

370,000

360,000

350,000

340,000

330,000
y

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Month
Another significant feature associated with the year 2003 were the strike actions. “The strike
actions, particularly with regard to teachers,” says Muweme, “ have a direct serious impact
on the quality of education and loss of opportunities for the prospect of a better life for many
of our young people.” This is where it becomes extremely important to ensure that strike
actions are avoided through meeting demands such as employee morale, overall conditions
of living, etc., that have a direct bearing on the quality of learning.
“Moreover, if we honestly and objectively look at the reasons for most of the strike actions,
be they by teachers or health workers, doesn’t it occur to us that the reasons for such actions
are usually core to ensuring quality delivery of service and the promotion of poverty
reduction?” asks Muweme.
As we begin the year 2004, a few points are critical in relationship with the above
observations and most importantly the current debate concerning national “sacrifice” in order
to meet Zambia’s development aspirations.
• Through the IMF and World Bank, developed countries have managed to put in place a
“do as I say approach and not as I do” (e.g., on subsidies relating to agriculture, extent of
trade liberalization, etc.) with regard to development strategy. Muweme further says that
“the current beneficial outcomes of the agricultural sector are as a result of government
involvement in the agricultural sector, a policy position which is generally inconsistent with
World Bank and IMF propositions.” Therefore, it is hoped that sacrifice will not mean
government rollback in its current strategic involvement with agriculture.
• It is also important to recognize that there must be beneficial outcomes to the people,
especially the poor, in the national “sacrifice” being talked about and not just mere
meeting of World Bank and IMF aspirations. In that regard, it is hoped that the sacrifice
will mean for the first time moving more resource allocation obtained through cuts from
non-priority areas such as the already much talked about expensive travel, unnecessary
by-elections, excessive cabinet and district administrators, etc., to improving quality of
education and health.
• As a nation, Zambia must strive to build a society where its people not only manage to
meet basic needs for decent living but are able to make savings from whatever economic
activities they engage in. Savings are the building blocks for the future.
• Instead of talking about increasing taxes in 2003, it is important that government talks
more about strategies for employment creation. Anywhere in the world, one observes
that the question of employment is not only an economic issue but it is also hugely a
political issue. The current employment, industry and the general economic situation in
Zambia poses serious future limitations on the extent to which government will be able to
mobilize resources through taxes for development.
• Related to the above is also the need for government to develop an industrial strategy.
Without an industrial strategy it is difficult to see how this nation can realize such results
as creation of employment, competitiveness in trade, etc. In fact, we must realize that
trade comes with development and likewise the much desired and sought after foreign
investment.
• The international community should exercise greater flexibility with its conditionalities,
particularly those which relate to reaching the HIPC completion point. In any case, aren’t
some of the reasons for Zambia’s failure to reach the HIPC completion inherently critical
to poverty reduction?
Muweme says that as we begin the year 2004 with words of serious national “sacrifice”, it is
always important to remember that, “measures taken during this course of ‘sacrifice’ should
not add disproportionate suffering to the already most vulnerable in our society.” “Sacrifice”
should also mean increased allocations to education and health to give some hope to this
country.
[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project of the
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410;
fax: 260-1-290759; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 4 MARCH 2004

A VALUE AND ETHICAL FRAMEWORK CRITICAL TO


DESIGNING DEVELOPMENT POLICIES, SAYS THE JCTR
Development policies, strategies, etc., should at all times be central to the humanity
question and must be cognizant of the fact that humanity is an end and a means to
achieving that development. Critically this means that there must always be a value and
ethical framework to policy formulation and evaluation. This observation is made by
the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) in the light of Zambia’s continued
experience of poor living conditions and current efforts at improving people’s lives.

According to the JCTR monthly Basic Needs Basket report for Lusaka, the cost of food
and other essential non-food items such as decent housing, water, wash and bath soap,
energy, etc., for the month of February is K1,078,750. For the month of January it was
K1,065,900. This cost of basic needs means that a decent standard of living is beyond
the majority of households in Zambia.

“If at all both successive Governments of the Republic of Zambia and its cooperating
partners have over the years assumed an approach of a value and ethical framework,
would Zambia’s development misfortunes be to the way they are?” Asks Muweme
Muweme, Coordinator of the Social Conditions Research Project of the JCTR.

To use a value and ethical framework would mean being compelled not to accept the
status quo where most of the people, especially the poor are denied access to a decent
standard of living. This obviously has direct and serious political implications today,
for example, in the negotiations over the elusive “HIPC completion point.”

Both national governments and the international community have over the years set
targets of uplifting people’s welfare but those targets have by no means been achieved.
According to Muweme, “It must be recognized that development, understood as the
progression of people from less human conditions to more human conditions, cannot
and should not be delayed. A delay in development means lack of food, increases in the
incidence of HIV/AIDS, lack of access to health and education, and generally
unacceptable suffering of the people. To delay development is not to value people’s
lives and to destroy the prospects for a peaceful future of the country.”

“Two critical questions become paramount in this context,” says Muweme, “ to those
planning the development of Zambia and other countries in similar situation. The first
one is, what value framework are they employing in determining development policy
choices? Are we evaluating the past several years of development failures on the basis
of human considerations?”

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research


Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774, Lusaka,
Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 260-1-290759; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm;
internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 7 APRIL 2004

JCTR BASKET COVERAGE EXPANDED TO INCLUDE


LIVINGSTONE, KABWE, NDOLA, LUANSHYA AND KITWE
The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) has expanded its area of coverage of the Basic
Needs Basket from Lusaka to other areas. The areas to which the Basic Needs Basket has been
expanded to are Livingstone, Kabwe, Ndola, Kitwe and Luanshya.

“This expansion,” says Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the Social Conditions Research Project of
the JCTR, “ was necessitated by the Basic Needs Basket’s intrinsic value and the demand from the
people”. There have been several requests for the Basket information from other towns in Zambia
and the JCTR could not give the same information of Lusaka to other parts of the country because
price data vary depending on many factors.

The expansion follows the feasibility study conducted in 2003 by the JCTR which recommended that
the Basket, in the initial phase, be taken to places that have similar characteristics to Lusaka. This
means that it assumes the same composition of food and non-food essentials as that of Lusaka.
According to Muweme, it is the belief of the JCTR that an expanded Basic Needs Basket will be both
more representative of the national urban situation of cost of living and more authoritative in respect
to discussions on cost of living. As is usually the case with initial efforts, it is expected that there will
be more improvements along the way on the collection and accuracy of the information.

A comparative analysis of Luanshya and Lusaka for the month of March reveals that the cost of food
alone in Luanshya is higher than in Lusaka. In Lusaka food alone was costing K418,550. In
Luanshya it was recorded at K447,100. An analysis done during the feasibility study that informed
the expansion of the Basket also revealed Luanshya as the town with a higher cost of food compared
to Livingstone, Kabwe, Ndola, and Kitwe. This indeed is a disturbing situation as households facing
difficult socioeconomic situations due to low economic activity are at the same time experiencing a
higher cost of food. High cost of food has serious health and education implications. It means,
among other things, susceptibility to illness, children who are malnourished and who fail to
concentrate at school.

In the previous months of January and February, the average cost of mealie meal was highest for
Livingstone at K33,500 followed by Luanshya at K32,800. Kitwe recorded the price at K32,150,
Ndola at K31,600 and Lusaka at K29,450.

According to Muweme, it must be understood that the Basket is not compiled to be merely a statistical
exercise, but a basis for responding to the need for improving lives of the Zambian people,
particularly the poor whose composition is by and large women. Its application therefore is by no
means restricted to those in formal employment, especially that 80 percent of the Zambian population
is living in poverty.

It must also be recognized that high cost of living is an outcome of many problematic situations
relating to the wider “workings” of the economy. As such the Basket must also be seen as a basis for
entry into exploring socioeconomic policies that will benefit the people through ensuring that they
have adequate food, quality health care and education, etc.

Unfortunately, Zambia’s development efforts have not given priority attention to the needs of the poor.
It is JCTR’s strong proposition that as Zambia negotiates a new Poverty Reduction and Growth
Facility (PRGF) with the IMF, both government and the IMF assessment teams should assess
Zambia’s qualification within the context of the needs of the majority poor Zambian people. “How
else,” asks Muweme, “is Zambia going to effectively and equitably develop without paying attention to
the needs of its people?”

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project of the
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410;
fax: 260-1-290759; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 3 MAY 2004

NUTRITION SHOULD BE CENTRAL TO AIDS


TREATMENT DISCUSSIONS, SAYS THE JCTR
At no time has a holistic approach to health delivery been more critical than in our current
predicament of HIV/AIDS, says the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR).
Particularly important in ensuring effective AIDS treatment is good nutrition at household
level.

To achieve good nutrition at household level, which will also have some positive impact on
the prevailing overstretched health delivery system, requires adequate household incomes.
“As it is well known,” says Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the Social Conditions Research
Project of the JCTR, “effective health delivery does not start and end with hospitalization or
visitations to health centres. It is a whole ‘array’ involving the kind of living conditions people
experience.”

The above premise of a holistic approach held by the JCTR has been one of the reasons for
the JCTR’s constant calls for adequate household incomes, particularly in light of the ever-
rising cost of living in Zambia. This cost is clearly shown in the monthly Basic Needs Basket.

For example, in Lusaka at present a family of six needs to spend K450,850 on food alone.
This has gone up by K16,850 from the cost in March of K434,000. If other costs such as
housing, water, energy, etc., are included the cost is K1,110,150. It is obviously the case
that in Zambia today, the majority of households spend a huge percentage of their income on
food. However, this does not by any means imply good nutrition and adequate food intake.
It is an expenditure confined only to mere survival.

Muweme further says that inadequate incomes have placed a disproportionate burden on
women who, in addition to being household managers and in some cases income or food
providers, are the majority caregivers in the context of the present day home-based care
system. But critically important in relationship to AIDS treatment of a lack of an adequate
household income is the denial of a good home psychological environment necessary for the
support and encouragement to AIDS patients.

To achieve effectiveness in the treatment of AIDS, government should be in the forefront of


promoting healthy life styles that will involve people having access to education, nutrition,
shelter and all the requirements that make up the totality of healthy living. Without such a
situation in place, Zambia will continue experiencing an overstretched health delivery system
and the problem of HIV/AIDS will seem insurmountable.

Muweme also says that as the treatment of AIDS is being promoted through a programme of
distribution of a cocktail of drugs commonly known as ARVs, it is important, as a matter of
policy, that such a programme moves alongside a mechanism of ensuring that those
suffering from AIDS have access to good nutrition. In the long-term, the aim should be that
of general improvement of nutrition among all the Zambian households.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project
of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia; tel:
260-1-290410; fax: 260-1-290759; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet:
www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 3 JUNE 2004
JCTR SAYS COMMITMENT
IS CENTRAL TO UPLIFTING PEOPLE’S LIVES
Zambia’s socioeconomic challenges such as malnutrition at household level with its various
manifestations in children, HIV/AIDS, inadequate health care and quality of education,
unemployment, inadequate household incomes, etc., require efforts beyond just having well
enunciated plans, observes the JCTR.
“Of prime importance in addition to resource prioritization,” says Muweme Muweme,
Coordinator of the Social Conditions Research Project of the JCTR, “is strong commitment
by leaders at different levels to addressing Zambia’s problems. Lack of strong commitment
has unfortunately been characteristic in dealing with Zambia’s problems.
The failure to achieve development targets that have been set incessantly in recent decades
can by and large be explained by a lack of strong commitment to translate plans into real
action to change the lives of the majority poor people. Time and again meetings are held at
both local and international levels to look at the plight of the poor. But rarely do these
meetings result into tangible benefits for the poor. “For how long will the poor wait before
experiencing positive change in their lives?”, asks Muweme.
The JCTR Basic Needs Basket has continued to show the socioeconomic difficulties
households face in Zambia through highlighting the cost of basic needs in relationship to
people’s incomes. For example, for the month of May, while recording some marginal
reductions in the price of mealie meal from an average cost of K30,000 in April to the current
cost of K29,000, the overall cost of food alone of K456,400 remains very high for many
households in Zambia. This is especially true taking into account that households have to
meet other costs such as education, health, transport, etc.
According to Muweme, this state of affairs is unacceptable and needs to change so that we
move to addressing human problems, especially on the basis of the inherent dignity of every
human being. It is necessary therefore that every leader at different levels, both local and
international, should move with a spirit of strong commitment to change the situations of the
poor.
The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), Zambia’s current road map to uplifting the
poor, and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set for 2015 (e.g., reducing by half the
proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day, ensuring that all boys and girls
complete a full course of primary schooling) should be viewed as very critical challenges to
Zambia from the moral, economic, political and social points view. Following these
guidelines requires strong commitment, seen in priorities, sacrifice and seriousness.
JCTR believes that without strong commitment and the realization of the inherent dignity of
the human person as basis for development efforts, there will always be less to be achieved
in uplifting the conditions of the people, especially the poor whose composition is largely
women.
“As a nation, it is long over due that we have a foundation of committing ourselves to
addressing the difficulties Zambia is facing,” says Muweme.
[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project
of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia; tel:
260-1-290410; fax: 260-1-290759; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet:
www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 12 JULY 2004

BASIC NEEDS BASKET REVEALS


THAT LUANSHYA IS HIGH COST OF LIVING AREA
People of Luanshya are experiencing one of the highest cost of living among urban areas in
Zambia. This is according to recent Basic Needs Basket information collected from
Luanshya by the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR). An analysis of the
information has shown that the cost of food alone during the last three months has
consistently been higher in Luanshya than Lusaka, Ndola, Kabwe, Livingstone and Kitwe.

According to Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the Social Conditions Research Project of


the JCTR, the cost of food alone for the months of April, May and June averaged K462,700
for Luanshya compared to the average cost of K456,300 for Lusaka.

The fact that Luanshya has revealed higher cost of living than the other urban areas does not
imply that cost of living is affordable in the other areas. What it simply means is that
households in Luanshya are experiencing more difficulties in meeting their basic
requirements, particularly food than those in other urban areas. “The prevailing high cost of
living in Luanshya,” says Muweme, “is mainly on account of relatively high prices of mealie
meal, bread, tomato, onion, cooking oil, etc.”

“Unless fundamental changes occur in the way Zambia manages its social, political and
economic affairs,” says Muweme “it appears the Zambian people for many years to come,
and even for the whole of their life-times, will be unable to meet the most basic of human
requirements such as food, decent shelter, access to quality health care and education, etc.”

Certainly a number of reasons account for this situation. The reasons have included the
longstanding problem of a governance system that does not set and maintain priorities in the
face of inadequate resources. The governance system of Zambia and most of Africa has
also failed to galvanize, especially in the present time, a national mood of patriotism towards
a work ethic that is critical to moving this nation forward and hold promise, especially for the
children and women of Zambia.

“Little wonder,” says Muweme, “Zambia and most of Africa continue to find it extremely
difficult in addressing problems of the huge external debt and imbalances in the global social,
political and economic governance.”

It is true to say that Zambia and most of Africa have had plans, in some cases well thought
out plans, to address the problems of the people. For example, Zambia has had a series of
national plans from the time of independence and now has a Poverty Reduction Strategy
Paper (PRSP). However, these plans have most of the time suffered the fate of lack of
effective implementation.

Investment in human beings should remain an all-time high priority area for the Zambian
government. “The failure of households to meet their basic needs is in itself an indication of
lack of investment in human beings,” says Muweme.

According to the JCTR, two ways that Zambian citizens can respond to the economic
challenges facing the country are:
1. Give input into the preparation of budget 2005 as requested by Finance Minister
Ng’andu Magande, to ensure that effective priority is given to meeting human needs;
2. Push politicians currently fighting each other over minor personal issues to pay
attention to larger socio-economic issues affecting the livelihoods of all.
[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project of the
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P. O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410;
fax: 260-1-290759; e-mail socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 28 JULY 2004

SITUATION OF PENSIONERS,
FUEL PRICE INCREASE WORRY JCTR
The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) wishes to express serious concern
about the situation of pensioners and increases in the price of petrol and kerosene in the
country.
Firstly, reports that about 90,000 pensioners are to lose what is rightly theirs for whatever
reasons is highly objectionable. According to Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the
Social Conditions Research Project of the JCTR, “this situation epitomizes one of the
highest levels of injustice that violates the right to a pension and to insurance for old age.
Sadly in Zambia for a long time now, the situation of pensioners is one that raises serious
moral and ethical questions. It is often the case that pensioners go through a lot of very
difficult situations such as having nowhere to sleep when following their payments,
unnecessary bureaucracy, etc., before they are given what rightly belongs to them.
The most unfortunate thing about all this is that it is taking place in a context, first, of many
hardships with high cost of living prominent among them, and second, where a large
amount of money is to be given to MPs for gratuity. This indeed appears to be unfair
taking into account that pensioners have been waiting for months (years) and now are
going to be further discriminated against.
Moreover, the long period of waiting before obtaining their money means that inflation
erodes the value of the money. “Government must realize that”, says Muweme, “to
withhold someone’s entitlement of pension is a grave injustice that denies those involved
an opportunity to a dignified livelihood.”
“In Zambia today, many workers are accepting harder working conditions against their will
because of the prevailing economic situation of high unemployment levels. But for
government to fail for whatever reasons to pay pension entitlements to retirees is simply
unacceptable,” says Muweme.
One may ask, what kind of a society we are that can allow such situations to occur? Do
we really care about each other? It is important that government takes the lead and show
exemplary behaviour in caring for the workers during the time they are actively engaged in
employment, but more importantly government must take care of those retiring by paying
them promptly their benefits.
The JCTR further says that the current situation of pensioners is reminiscent of the eras of
slavery and colonialism, where there was an absence of a social conscience by certain
sections of society to get troubled of the injustice committed to fellow human beings.
Increases in the price of petrol undoubtedly hurt the national economy in various ways, but
it is those on the lower ladder of our society, the poor that will feel the greatest impact.
Indeed our socioeconomic situations in the country demand some strong moral and
ethical approaches to redressing them. Zambia should strive to build a political, economic
and social order that will place the well being of human beings above anything else.
Without such a moral and ethical approach even today’s fight against poverty and the
struggle for the attainment of Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) will be very difficult to
realize. Do we sometimes wonder why we have so many children on the streets beyond
the HIV/AIDS problem?
[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research
Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774, Lusaka,
Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 03 SEPTEMBER 2004

COST OF BASIC NEEDS SHOW A MIXED PICTURE IN


THE FACE OF “EXTERNAL SHOCKS”, SAYS JCTR
The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) says that there has not been some
significant change this far in prices of food as might have been expected in the face of
high global fuel prices. This is primarily due to the good agricultural production the
country is experiencing.

This observation from the JCTR, says Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the Social
Conditions Research Project of the JCTR, is based on the monthly Basic Needs Basket
information. The Basic Needs Basket is a simple compilation of the average cost of
ordinary food -- such as mealie meal, meat, fresh vegetables, etc., and non-food items
such as housing, water, energy, etc. -- designed to relate the cost of living on one hand
and incomes of households on the other.

In the month of August, the Basic Needs Basket – now at K1,100,200 compared to
K1,105,100 for the month of July -- has presented a mixed picture in the cost of food.
While the cost of mealie meal, vegetables, tomatoes, onions and kapenta has declined,
that of meat has slightly adjusted upwards. Food items such as eggs, tea, milk, sugar and
dry fish have shown some stability.

“This situation,” says Muweme, “can be attributed to good agricultural performance in the
current year that has been able to guard against to some degree the internationally
induced national economic shocks such as the recent crude oil price increases.”
According to Muweme, without good agricultural output, the impact of the increases in the
price of crude oil would have been enormous.

For countries like Zambia, it is important to acknowledge conventional wisdom that a well
performing agricultural sector means a lot of things. For example, and most importantly, it
means affordability of food at household level. It also means the easing of pressure to
import food and where there is some surplus and well coordinated arrangements at buying
the agricultural produce, it means exporting food to other countries, to secure the much
talked about and needed foreign exchange.

According to the JCTR, to enhance people’s access to food is not only a matter predicated
on food production alone. In Zambia today, households lack access to adequate food
because of many factors, such as being out of employment and the realignment of
household budgets to take care of the needs of HIV/AIDs treatment.

It is the view of the JCTR, that Zambia’s focus -- in addition to directing its efforts at total
external debt cancellation to give the country a new start -- should be on the sectors that
form the bedrock of human welfare. These include agriculture, education and health, and
employment creation.

More importantly too is that some of the benefits the country is witnessing in relationship
to agriculture are because of government’s intervention in the agricultural sector with
respect to timely input supply, market access, etc., says Muweme.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research


Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774, Lusaka,
Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 04 NOVEMBER 2004

“YES, COST OF LIVING MAJOR PROBLEM AMONG HOUSEHOLDS


AND NEEDS VERY SERIOUS ATTENTION”, SAYS JCTR
High cost of living has continued to be a major problem being experienced by many
households in Zambia. This obviously means that as government and the rest of
stakeholders try to find solutions to Zambia’s economic problems, cost of living should be
one of the critical points of focus in discussions and policy documents in order to improve
people’s lives, says the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR).
The JCTR has long identified high cost of living in Zambia as one of the major and
consistent problems the country has experienced. “That is why,” says, Muweme
Muweme, Coordinator of the Social Conditions Research Project of the JCTR, “the JCTR
has as one of its activities the Basic Needs Basket, which is an effort aimed at giving a
picture of the struggle confronting households in meeting their daily essential needs.“
The Basket shows the relationship between household incomes and requirements for
basic human survival. It highlights the cost of food and essential non-food items. The
Basket is not compiled to be merely a statistical exercise, but a basis for responding to the
needs of the Zambian people, particularly the poor whose composition is by and large
women.
For the month of October, cost of living as shown by the JCTR Basket is K468,600 for
food alone compared to K439,400 for the month of September, representing an increase
of K29,200. The increase can be attributed to a significant upward adjustment in the price
of meat because of the current problem of foot and mouth disease that has resulted in
reduced supplies of meat on the market. There were also increases in the price of beans,
dry fish, cooking oil, etc. The increase in these items is on account of the upward
adjustment in fuel prices that probably has started to take effect after some period of
relative price stability.
If non-food essential items such as housing, water, energy, wash and bath soap are
added to the cost of food, the total cost for the Basic Needs Basket for the same month is
K1,127,500. This figure is obviously beyond reach of many Zambian households.
According to Muweme, this situation of high cost of living explains why the Zambian
people indicated high cost of living as a serious problem in the recently launched National
Governance Baseline Survey (NGBS) by the Republican President.
It is important to recognize that high cost of living has serious off-shoots. It means the
nutrition status at household level is negatively affected and results in, for example,
inadequate food intake with the effect of malnutrition and stunted growth for children,
difficulties in accessing health care and education and it also generally means the
absence of the various dimensions of well being.
As Zambia continues to build its efforts around agricultural development, which is so far
commendable, it is important for government to realize that to realize the challenge of high
cost of living. Thus there must be a holistic approach to addressing the problem of high
cost of living. It means we must increase investment in sectors such as education and
health as well as employment creation. “Doing this,” says Muweme, “as history has taught
us, is what will lead to improvements in people’s lives. It is also where the future of any
country is predicated and Zambia is no exception.”

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research


Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. BOX 37774, Lusaka,
Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 08 DECEMBER 2004

JCTR ASKS: WHY DON’T POLITICIANS SPEAK ABOUT


WHAT IS IMPORTANT IN PEOPLE’S LIVES?
“Why are our leading politicians disappointing us by not talking about what is important in our
lives?” That is the burning question that more and more citizens in Zambia are raising these
days, as they face everyday problems of sustaining the livelihoods of their families.

According to Mr. Muweme Muweme, “The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) is
worried that the current political debates seem to be very much out-of-touch with the people’s
needs.” Muweme, who coordinates the JCTR’s Social Conditions Research Project, notes
that the central political focus should be on policies to improve people’s lives, not on
personalities that want to get elected or stay in office.

According to the JCTR’s November Basic Needs Basket, the cost of living for a family of six
in Lusaka has continued to fluctuate at a very high level. For food alone, the cost is
K456,200, and for non-food essentials, the cost is K658,600. Compared to civil servants’
take-home pay that rarely touches the one million kwacha mark, a great gap is revealed
between what households ought to spend at a minimum level and the actual amount of
income at their disposal. “In all honesty and decency, says Muweme, “this should be the
number one political issue being discussed today!”

Instead of focusing on the critical question of cost of living – the key in determining people’s
welfare since it shows how households and individuals relate to food, education and health,
shelter, agricultural production, and other welfare indicators -- we hear at one level an
immense amount of talk about the reaching the doubtful and ever “floating” HIPC Completion
point as though its attainment would automatically guarantee improvements in people’s lives.

At another level, the constitutional debate has drawn attention away from this critical
question of addressing the high cost of living in Zambia. As much as this constitutional
debate is important, it is certainly necessary that it be debated alongside the question of how
to improve people’s livelihoods.

Muweme asks: “When are we going to hear politicians, both in the ruling party and in the
opposition, debate how Zambia is going to attain the Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs)? How do the politicians plan to create employment for the often-hopeless Zambian
youth? What plans do they have for improving the quality of health and education?”

For example, even though it is encouraging to hear the Ministry of Education say that they
will employ 1000 teachers, what will happen to those who will remain unemployed? Another
example is the support given to small-scale farmers in the form of subsidized inputs. While
this has greatly benefited the few farmers who have received this support, much more can
and should be achieved with a prompter and wider supply of inputs.

These burning life-enhancing issues should top the agenda for political discussions. “We
should see more headlines in the newspapers about the needs of people than the wants of
politicians,” says Muweme.

The JCTR trusts that the Zambian people, the majority of who are affected by poor living
conditions, will make issues concerning their welfare the critical points for deciding who gets
elected at any level of future elections. Then politics will really touch the lives of the people!

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project of the
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P. O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia; tel: 260-1-290410;
fax: 260-1-290759; e-mail socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 06 JANUARY 2005

YEAR 2004 ENDS WITH FOOD ALONE COSTING K481,540: NEEDS OF


PEOPLE SHOULD BE KEY IN POLICY DEBATES IN 2005, SAYS JCTR
Zambia’s longstanding problem of high cost of living should be one of the top most policy
debates in 2005, says the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR). This is because
cost of living determines people’s general welfare through indicating, for example, how
households and individuals relate to education, health, food, shelter, agricultural production,
etc. “It is a broad quality of life indicator, as, for example, it primarily determines how many
meals a household will have in a given day,” says, Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the
Social Conditions Research Project of the JCTR.

Any claims of improvements in Zambia’s economy should be judged by no other criteria than
quality of life indicators such as access to good health care and education, adequate food at
household level, decline and possibly an absence of street children, adequate incomes, etc.
There should be no abstract notions of measuring the performance of the economy -- such
as in GDP terms only -- other than the primacy of what is happening in people’s lives, for
example, in nutrition terms.

Undoubtedly, the agricultural output of 2003 and 2004 has yielded many positive results such
as keeping inflation -- which hurts the poor most – in check, enhanced rural household
incomes, ensuring adequate food at household level, etc. However, with some steady
declines only recorded in the period June to September, cost of food alone as shown by the
JCTR monthly Basic Needs Basket (BNB), continued to fluctuate at a higher level in 2004.
December like in the previous years, recorded a significant increase. This trend in cost of
food alone reflected also the overall cost of the Basic Needs Basket (see graph below).
Graph showing trends in cost of food alone
for a family of six in Lusaka, 2004

490000

480000

470000

460000
Kwacha
450000

440000

430000

420000

410000

400000
Jan-04 Feb-04 Mar-04 Apr-04 May-04 Jun-04 Jul-04 Aug-04 Sep-04 Oct-04 Nov-04 Dec-04

Month

The JCTR BNB estimates the monthly cost of food items such as mealie meal, beans, green
vegetables, cooking oil meat, eggs, etc., and essential non-food items such as housing in
medium density area, energy, wash and bath soap for a family of six. In 2004, the average
cost of food alone was K447,153 per month and non-food items K659,016 per month. The
average cost for the total BNB (i.e., cost of food and non-food) was K1,106,170 per month.

A comparison of these figures of cost of living -- which do not include the cost of transport,
education, health, personal care, etc. -- with net incomes of most households reveals the
extent to which most Zambian households have to struggle to meet their essential needs for
decent human survival. For example, consider those civil servants looking at a pay cheque
frozen because of government’s “need to meet the HIPC completion point,” those widows
breaking stones by the roadside and having to look after so many orphans brought about by
the relentless onslaught of AIDS, those households that have to balance between adequate
food and meeting the cost of antiretroviral therapy, those households without any access to
gainful employment, etc.

A widow of Lusaka had this to say in connection with her socioeconomic situations “I have
ten children that I am keeping at my house, five children are my own and five are orphans. I
find it very difficult to take care of these children and there is no where to run to. My salary is
also below K200,000 and I have to pay rent, take children to school, buy food and do
everything else out of this money. I am really suffering!”

What should Zambia do in light of this socioeconomic situation? What should Zambia do to
move people from less human conditions to more human conditions -- a truer definition of
development than abstract GDP figures? It is important that Zambia pays attention to,
among other considerations, the following:

• First, Zambia has to ensure that at all levels there is a “responsive and responsible
leadership.” There is need to ensure that the individuals who are supposed to
represent the interests of the Zambian people, especially the poor through
employment creation, provision of housing, etc., do exactly that. To do this it means
that among others things, the new Zambian constitution must incorporate in the Bill of
Rights Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for the people to claim their inherent right
to development.

• Second, recognizing the principle that development can only be achieved through the
people themselves and that the people are the real goal of development, Zambia
should strive to improve the quality and accessibility of education to all the people. It
means building more schools, especially in rural areas to cut on the long distances
children have to cover to go to school, addressing what has become a perennial
problem of examination paper leakages that is impacting negatively on the purpose of
education, improving teacher morale through prompt and adequate remuneration, etc.

• Third, the health problem has long been known to be a wider development problem
and this recognition has been laid bare more recently with the HIV/AIDS problem.
Therefore any strategies at addressing general health and the HIV/AIDS problem
must recognize the need to look at the general “workings” of the Zambian economy
and ensure that it is responsive to the needs of the majority poor Zambian people, for
example, ensuring that households have access to adequate food.

• Fourth, Zambia must strive to attain total debt cancellation. This means strengthening
even further the voice calling for total debt cancellation as championed by Jubilee-
Zambia. Government, trade unions, Members of Parliament, women groups, the
youth, the church, etc., must continue with their efforts of advocating for total debt
cancellation for the purpose of improving living conditions of the Zambian people.

• Fifth, sustainable agricultural practice is what will assure access to income and food at
household levels for the majority of the Zambian people. Therefore efforts to find
alternative ways to the heavy reliance on chemical fertilizers, coupled with crop
diversification, market access both local and international, etc., should be central to
the agricultural sector of the Zambian economy.

• Sixth, one of the huge problems Zambia has been facing over the years is
unemployment. In an environment of unemployment, people’s access to adequate
food, health care, education, the fight against poverty, etc., is greatly inhibited.
Therefore Zambia needs to have a strategy of employment creation that will show how
many and what kind of jobs, for example, are being created annually. This should be
a Zambian priority whether or not it pleases foreign interests such as the IMF and
World Bank.

The year 2005 will see heightened international focus on poverty through, for example, the
review of progress towards the attainment of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agreed
upon by the international community in 2000. It will be particularly important for Zambia and
other countries in similar situations to take advantage of this international focus on poverty
and ensure that there is commitment from the international community to take pragmatic
steps to address the problems of poverty, hunger, HIV/AIDs, trade imbalances, etc.

“The primacy of human considerations in socioeconomic policy should at all times be upheld
and one hopes that the 2005 national budget will be seen as an instrument of achieving
development and will reflect this fundamental principle,” says Muweme.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project
of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P. O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia;
tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 260-1-290759;
e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 10 FEBRUARY 2005

THE 2005 NATIONAL BUDGET:


CONTINUING WITH THE STATUS QUO?
With the national Budget for 2005 having been presented, the Jesuit Centre for Theological
Reflection (JCTR) is asking the question: to what extent will the 2005 national budget uplift
the lives of average Zambian families? Budget analysis has been the talk of the nation for
the past few weeks, and the JCTR looks to add its voice to the discussion.

The annual budget provides the sole opportunity for a government to transform its political
statements into concrete plans for action, with budget lines illustrating government priorities
and strategies to better serve the people. Based on these criteria, the 2005 budget lacks the
boldness and the holistic vision to make tangible impact on the living situation of Zambian
people, especially for the poor majority of the country. Neither the budget statements by the
Minister of Finance and National Planning nor the budget lines clearly explain what
separates this budget from past budgets that have failed to uplift the lives of people on the
ground.

Taking into consideration the dire socio-economic situation of the nation, the people of
Zambia have long deserved a bold budget to help people move from less to more human
conditions. Unfortunately, the proposed 2005 budget fails to assess the current potential and
struggles of the people, and consequently fails to offer a holistic strategy to exploit Zambian
potential in order to overcome the country’s problems. The JCTR’s monthly Basic Needs
Basket exercise helps illuminate the basic struggle faced by all Zambians to afford the rising
cost of basic needs and therefore provides an important platform for beginning an
assessment of the budget.

The JCTR Basic Needs Basket is a measure of the cost of essential food and non-food items
for a family of six living in one of six specific urban areas: Luanshya, Ndola, Lusaka, Kitwe,
Livingstone and Kabwe. In January 2005, the Basic Needs Basket totaled K838,410 for
Luanshya, K988,280 for Ndola, K1,340,840 for Lusaka, K973,910 for Kitwe, K1,108,750 for
Livingstone, and K842,900 for Kabwe. Furthermore, the cost of basic food alone was
K511,610 in Luanshya, K501,180 in Ndola, K492,940 in Lusaka, K479,210 in Kitwe,
K453,350 in Livingstone, and K424,780 in Kabwe. For the same month, the Central
Statistical Office (CSO) calculated an average Basic Needs Basket across all of Zambia at
920,441 Kwacha, with the average cost of basic food for a Zambian family measured at
640,982 Kwacha.

The JCTR strongly supports the Catholic Commission for Justice, Development and Peace
(CCJDP) and others who have called for an upward increase in the Pay as You Earn (PAYE)
exemption threshold. In the 2002-2003 Living Conditions Monitoring Survey, the CSO
classifies a family as ‘extremely poor’ if it is unable to afford the monthly cost of basic food
items and ‘poor’ if it is unable to afford the monthly cost of the full Basic Needs Basket. By
setting the PAYE exemption threshold at K280,000 per month, the government is
admittedly taxing Zambian people who cannot afford to put food on the table for their
families, the same group it classifies as ‘extremely poor!’

Furthermore, the K20,000 increase in the PAYE exemption threshold actually falls short of
the average year-end inflation of 17.5% for 2004, or in other words, fails to maintain the
status quo. Based upon both the JCTR’s Basic Needs Basket and the CSO’s average
survey of cost of living across the nation, it is extraordinary that the PAYE exemption
threshold remain below K600,000, if not K900,000 to allow Zambian families to afford basic
non-food expenditures such as housing, water and electricity.

Of course an increase in the PAYE exemption threshold would lower the annual tax revenue
and possibly hinder resources from reaching critical social sectors such as health and
education. In light of these two equally important but competing needs for investment,
towards basic food items and social programmes, the government must think holistically and
proactively to find alternative solutions that will not negatively affect the people. For
example, the government could take a more aggressive effort to broaden the tax base in the
country to target those groups of people who are not paying their fair share. Continuing to
think holistically, the fundamental method of broadening the tax base is to help foster
employment creation in the formal sector.

The 2005 national budget is very modest in its strategy of employment creation yet this is an
area which should be as robust in strategy as possibly can looking at Zambia’s current
context. In the budget address, the MoFNP made promises to create an encouraging
business environment in the country. One significant challenge to this healthy business
climate is the monstrous domestic debt that totals more than $US 1 Billion and grew by 6% in
the period 2003-2004.

Though the government is making efforts to reduce the identified longstanding problem of
growth in domestic debt, its efforts must go beyond just reducing the growth of this debt but
also tackling the principle in order to facilitate quick private sector development and
employment creation. Realizing that one of the most important ways through which any
country can uplift its people is by ensuring that its citizens have access to employment,
government also needs to pay attention to the remuneration of created positions. The
remuneration must be that which enables people to have an income for food, housing,
health, etc.

Returning specifically to the Lusaka Basic Needs Basket, the January 2005 total was
K1,340,840 compared to K1,147,840 in December of 2004. This significant increase in cost
is mainly due to an upward adjustment in the cost of rent for a basic three-bedroom house in
the city. The JCTR’s Basic Needs Basket demonstrates the extreme shortage of affordable
housing that exists across many urban areas particularly in Lusaka. Does the 2005 budget
outline a plan to assure that Zambians can afford their basic human right to adequate
housing?

It is important to realize that at all time education and health should be the primary
consideration in investment in human capital. Unfortunately, the current situation obtaining in
the country with regard to education is not assuring Zambia’s development. Our country’s
efforts as seen in the 2005 national budget are more of a strategy to deal with a backlog of
problems of the education sector than advancements in terms of quality, promoting
enrolment, etc.

In conclusion, the 2005 national budget makes an effort to address some negative off-shoots
of failed economic measures in the past, including the imposed wage and recruitment freeze
that affected critical areas of staff needed for achieving development. However, the budget
lacks a holistic, decisive strategy within each sector to empower the nation to move beyond
the status quo of unemployment and poverty. In the present context, Zambia desperately
needs a budget that not only refrains from negatively impacting the people, but outlines a
bold strategy to immediately address inadequacies in the social sector.

“The 1998 African Development Report,” says Muweme Muweme of the JCTR, “reminds us
of the above fundamental principal particularly as we continue to discuss the processes of
making our economy grow in GDP terms. The Report stated: ‘Once a generation of children
is exposed to life without adequate health and nutrition or school, there is little that can be
done during their adulthood to reverse the damage. For these reasons, investment in human
capital cannot be put off until economic conditions are better.’ Unfortunately, there are many
of Zambia’s children who are in an irreversible state of damage!”
[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project of the
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P. O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia;
tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 260-1-290759;
e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 4 MARCH 2005

BASKET REVEALS DIFFICULT TIMES FOR HOUSEHOLDS DURING END AND START
OF THE YEAR: JCTR CALLS FOR NECESSARY STEPS TO ADDRESS SITUATION
The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) has observed that the unrelenting high cost of
living many Zambian households experience during the end and beginning of each year should not
be taken as a norm but a challenge that requires pragmatic steps to address the situation and lessen
the suffering of the people.
“This observation, “ says Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the Social Conditions Research Project
of the JCTR, “is based on the analysis over the years of the Basic Needs Basket information that has
shown consistent increases in food and other essential requirements at the end and beginning of
each year. For example, in 2004, the cost of food alone in Lusaka was K439,400 in September. It
moved to K481,540 in December and K492,940 in January 2005. In 2003, the cost of food alone was
K384,450 in September. It moved to K401,800 in December and K409,000 in January 2004.
Unfortunately, this situation happens when households are under pressure to meet additional costs
such as school requirements for their children at the start of each year.

The Basic Needs Basket is a simple but concrete monthly estimation of cost of living for a family of
six in Lusaka, Livingstone, Kabwe, Ndola, Luanshya and Kitwe. The Basic Needs Basket includes
the cost of food and essential non-food items such as housing, energy, water, wash and bath soap,
etc. For the month of February 2005, the total cost of living for a family of six in Lusaka stood at
K1,333,170.
Muweme further says that it is important to realize that while households in the urban areas may only
suffer from high cost of food, which is only an accessibility problem, those in the rural areas suffer
from both accessibility and availability problems especially at beginning of each year. Those in the
rural areas who face food problems during these times of the year not only lack the food at home but
also fail to find nearby places from where to buy it.
Therefore, Zambia’s approach to strategic reserves needs to be carefully examined with the view to
ensuring that the strategic reserves are decentralized to make food both available and accessible to
most of the rural households. That food availability and accessibility at the household level has long
been identified to be a function of adequate income, production, storage and distribution means, for
example, evenly spreading strategic reserves around the country. This is one of the strategies of
ensuring that households have food all the time as opposed to the current arrangement which seems
only to respond to those in urban areas.
Instead of observing the high cost of living and inadequate food supplies at the end and beginning of
each year as a norm or dismissing it as a way of life, there is need particularly on the part of
government to look at both local and international factors giving birth to this situation and finding
solutions to these problems.
“It is an all time truth,” says Muweme, “that every human being desires to lead a life of full access to
food, housing, clothing, education, social inclusion, health, etc., and therefore it becomes the
fundamental principle upon which every society’s approaches to policy design and response to crisis
situations should be based. For any lack of realization of this fundamental principle and the
consequential effects is in itself a denial of the humanity that is inherently in each one of us.”
JCTR believes that by and large the problems of food accessibility and availability are well known in
Zambia. We need strategies, for example, of strengthened awareness creation in rural households of
the need to store adequate food coupled with promoting effective and evenly spread storage facilities.
We need to encourage formation of transparent and democratically organized cooperatives. It also
means going beyond the commendable interim measures put in place by government such as the
banning of maize exports and working out long-term measures that will entrench food availability for
both rural and urban households.
[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project of the
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P. O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia;
tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 260-1-290759;
e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 12 APRIL 2005

INADEQUATE RESPONSES AND A COMPLEX INTERACTION OF FACTORS BEHIND INCREASES


IN POVERTY: JCTR CALLS FOR REAL ACTION DURING THE GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION

The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) says that it is very clear that inadequate
responses and a complex interaction of both local and international factors has made the fight
against poverty increasingly difficult in Zambia. According to the Social Conditions Research
Project of the JCTR, both local and international responses to the poverty problems have rather
been inadequate and in some cases merely cosmetic.

The above situation has given rise to low direct investment in human capital, the problem of
provision and accessibility to social services (such as clean water, proper sanitation, solid waste
management, provision of good roads, etc.), inadequate and inappropriate energy for both
cooking, unemployment, inadequate food and nutrition, a poor health and education system and
to top it all the escalation in the HIV/AIDS problem. These problems together with the high cost
of living have led to suffering of the majority ordinary Zambians, especially women who have in
a versatile but stressful fashion responded to these problems.

For example, the cost of the Basic Needs Basket, -- which is a monthly survey of the cost of
essential food and non-food items that comprise the bare-minimum basket of goods needed for
an urban family of six to survive with a decent and healthy standard of living -- has consistently
shown the extent of suffering of most Zambian households.

It is true to say, as observed by the Co-adjutor Archbishop of Lusaka Catholic Archdiocese,


Telesphore Mpundu, “that the majority of Zambians struggle to make ends meet.” For example,
in March 2005 the cost of a nutritious basket of food alone for an average family was K466,900
in Livingstone, K421,910 in Kabwe, K474,010 in Luanshya, K493,130 in Ndola and K469,810 in
Kitwe. The Basic Needs Basket totalled K1,331,950 in Lusaka, K1,091,900 in Livingstone,
K874,750 in Kabwe, K804,990 in Luanshya, K989,230 in Ndola and K997,310 in Kitwe.

From the above figures and comparing them with the previous month of February, we can see
that in spite of an increase in fuel prices and a serious drought in some parts of the country, the
cost of living across these urban areas remained fairly unchanged during the month of March.
However, it is most likely that the upward adjustments in the cost of the Basket will occur in the
near future because of the effects of the drought in some parts of the country and fuel prices.

But what is important to realise is that addressing the challenge of high cost of living and other
associated problems is not a simple task that will be achieved overnight and by only looking at
the local causes. It is one problem that needs to address also a tripod of international factors.
First, through addressing the current trade injustice which has undermined the ability of poor
countries to earn adequate resources. Second, ensuring that there is total external debt
cancellation of poor countries which have disadvantaged resource allocations to the provision of
social services, education, health, etc., in favour of allocations to debt servicing. Third, there
must be adequate resource flows to poor countries in the form of increased amounts of aid.

One of the important preconditions for achieving the above is participation and commitment of
each and every Zambian working in partnership with a devoted government, and in solidarity
with people around the world. This concerted effort is being engendered primarily by an
inherent distinct characteristic of being human, which is the great sense of empathy with the
majority suffering people of the world.

This is the message of the Global Week of Action, 10 to 16 April 2005, during which millions of
people in over 70 countries across the world will be taking action in their local regions in support
of a call to “Make Poverty History!” In Zambia, JCTR working with other partners will be leading
discussions, rallies, workshops, visitations to Government Ministries, radio call-in programmes
and drama performances within Lusaka, Livingstone, Monze, Mongu, Kasama and the
Copperbelt in order to add the strong voice of the Zambian people to the global cry to end the
unacceptable evil of poverty.

The Global Week of Action is a call to each one of us to challenge situations, policies, etc.,
that are entrenching our suffering in various ways. The complex interaction of trade injustice,
debt and inadequate aid flows coupled with local factors such as less than optimal resource
allocations to education and health have given rise to failed investment in human beings and
high cost of living. Shouldn’t we as Zambians do something during the Global Week of Action
for the sake of ourselves, our brothers and sisters, our children and posterity? That is the
challenge of our present day Zambia, it is the time for real action around a tripod of trade justice,
debt and aid!

[For more information contact, the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection,
P. O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia; Plot 5880, Great East Road; tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 260-
1-290759; e-mails: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; debtjctr@zamnet.zm; jctr@zamnet.zm;
Website: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 01 MAY 2005

JCTR CALLS FOR MORE EFFORTS AT ADDRESSING


THE CHALLENGE OF EMPLOYMENT CREATION
Employment is very central in answering to the various social concerns Zambia currently faces. As such
it should be one of the top most priority areas beyond what is currently obtaining in the country,
observes the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) as Zambia celebrates Labour Day.
“As a matter of fact, “says Muweme Muweme Coordinator of the Social Conditions Research Project of
the JCTR, “within the context of efforts at fulfilling Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (which Zambia is
significantly lagging behind), employment creation should be considered as one of the cardinal points of
attention because of its relationship to the fulfilment of other rights such as education, health, decent
housing, etc.”
It is important to recognise that employment is a first line necessity through which individuals and
households at large earn a living. What this implies is that a person who is not in employment is unable
to meet his or her and family’s material requirements such as those of adequate nutritional intake,
education, housing, health, etc. But it also implies that he or she tends to experience a sense of social
exclusion, inadequacy and most unfortunately the psychological pain of inability to provide for him or
herself and family. “Large scale unemployment as the case is in Zambia today undermines the
realisation of a strong and decent family, the foundational starting point of any community and the
nation,” says Muweme.
Since employment is such a central issue to the uplifting of individuals, households and entire
communities, it becomes imperative that its creation should not only be left to the ingenuities of
individuals -- as the case is in the informal sector -- but should be facilitated by the Zambian government
through recognising above anything else that it has a moral responsibility to do so.
One of the deepest crises of our time is that in addition to a general situation of unemployment -- where
less than six hundred thousand people are in formal employment compared to a population of around
ten million -- and poor wages, there is a corresponding incessant challenge of an unaffordable high cost
of living. The JCTR through its monthly Basic Needs Basket (measuring cost of living for a family of six
in Livingstone, Lusaka, Kabwe, Ndola, Luanshya and Kitwe) has over the past years demonstrated this
undesirable fact in our society and has called into question Zambia’s development path.
For example, for the month of April, the cost of food alone was K482,820 in Lusaka. If we add housing,
water, electricity, wash and bath soap, energy, etc., without even including the cost of education,
transport, health, etc., the total Basic Needs Basket comes to K1,331,920 for Lusaka. This trend in cost
of basic needs for Lusaka, with only a few exceptions such as in the cost of housing, can be said to be
the same across Livingstone, Kabwe, Ndola, Luanshya and Kitwe.
The above statistics should compel us as a nation to realise, first, that the need for employment creation
is very paramount for Zambia because of its direct link to the welfare of the people. Second, that it is not
just creating employment in terms of numbers but it matters what kind of employment is being created.
It must be that kind of employment that will enable people to earn an income that will make them meet
essential requirements for decent survival. Indeed it should be that kind of employment that will
contribute to both the fulfilment and enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights by the majority of
Zambian citizens. Third, with the recent experience of loss of life in Chambishi, it means not only
looking at contractual issues surrounding the recruitment process, but also looking at the environment
within which people are working. By and large, the work environment in most work-places in Zambia is
such that it does not promote human dignity.

“As Zambia celebrates Labour Day,” says Muweme, “social vices such as child labour, excessive
exploitation of labour, poor standing of women in the work equation, delayed and inadequate
remuneration, etc., are situations which call for deeper and thorough reflection coupled with taking
pragmatic steps in addressing them. Above all they are moral issues whose continued prevalence calls
into question the moral standing of policy makers and institutions at local, national and international
levels.”
[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project of the
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P. O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia;
tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 260-1-290759;
e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 04 JUNE 2005

JCTR CALLS FOR CLARITYY ON


MAIZE GRAIN SITUATION
In the current situation where Zambia is experiencing some shortfall in maize grain, it is
important that government makes further clarification on the actual grain situation, says
the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR). The JCTR makes this call in the
midst of mixed statements coming from the media, international offices, government,
etc., concerning the maize grain situation.
“As it is well known,” says Muweme Muweme, Coordinator of the Social Conditions
Research Project of the JCTR, “availability of accurate information and the right flow of
that information are critical ingredients in planning, especially in efforts aimed at
avoiding starvation of the people.”
According to the JCTR, what we need in our current situation is a comprehensive
situational assessment to have full and accurate information on maize grain deficit
areas, the actual magnitude of the deficit and when exactly stocks from the previous
harvest ran out and how and when any deficits -- national or regional within the country
-- will be met. “Without such an approach, Zambia risks putting in place halfhearted
measures that might give rise to subsequent crisis responses if the hunger situation
turns out to be serious on account of underestimating the grain deficit,” further says
Muweme.
Realising that the shortfall, whatever its magnitude, is taking place in a context that has
a disproportionate relationship between wages and the cost of food and other needs,
and where rural communities rely on food production both for consumption and income
to meet other needs, the need to have a well functioning food information and
distribution system becomes critical.
According to the JCTR Basic Needs Basket, a monthly survey of cost of living for a
family of six, the cost of a 25 Kg bag of breakfast mealie meal has moved upwards in
Lusaka from an average of K33,300 during the month of April to K34,600 in May. The
total for the basic food items now stands at K504,430, moving from the cost of
K482,820 in April. The increase has been contributed to by an upward adjustment in
the price of mealie meal, dry fish and kapenta. The price of mixed cut beef has
recorded some slight decrease while other items such as green vegetables, tomatoes
and onions have remained the same. The total for the overall cost of the Basic Needs
Basket, that is the total cost of food and non-food items now stands at K1,352,130 for
Lusaka. It has increased by K20,210 from the total cost of K1,331,920 in April. This
upward adjustment is coming from increases in food.
Although availability of information and proper distribution mechanisms are important
components to addressing food problems, it should be realized that ensuring household
food availability requires looking at an array of factors. According to Muweme, in
Zambia this would include the question of employment, intra-household assessments,
local community participatory frameworks, etc. Paying attention to such factors during
times of food deficits will help us to look beyond food output statistics, important as they
are, to including analyses that will contribute to household level accessibility and
availability of food all the time.
[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project of
the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P. O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia;
tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 260-1-290759;
e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm
PRESS RELEASE 03 JULY 2005

JCTR CHALLENGES ALL EMPLOYERS TO


RESPECT THE DIGNITY OF ZAMBIAN WORKERS
The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) challenges all employers of labour,
whether foreign investors, the government, local businessmen or informal employers, to
respect the inherent dignity of their employees by valuing the work that they do and
compensating them justly.
According to Muweme Muweme of the Social Conditions Research Project of the JCTR,
“Created in the image of God, each one of us has inherent dignity and has God-given talents
that should be employed to contribute to the good of society at large. This implies that
conditions that promote that dignity and the use of God-given talents must be created.”
It is unfortunate that in Zambia today, the prevailing situation is where workers are employed
under insufficient human conditions, treated, in some cases, simply as a means to maximise
profits, inadequately remunerated for a family to meet the cost of basic needs, casualisation
of jobs that require full-time engagement, etc. This situation has been manifested, for
example, in the current dispute between Shoprite workers and management, and the recent
Chambishi incidence which witnessed loss of many lives.

The JCTR Basic Needs Basket that measures cost of living for a family of six in Lusaka,
Livingston, Kabwe, Ndola, Luanshya and Kitwe has shown the disparity that exists between
income on one hand and cost of living on the other. For example, the Basic Needs Basket
for Lusaka in the month of June stood at K1,349,650 with the cost of a 25 Kg bag of
breakfast mealie meal rising for the second month in a row by approximately K1,000.
Comparing this figure of cost of basic needs with a full-time employee in a multi-national
supermarket earning only up to K400,000 gives us an example of the extent to which
incomes fall below the requirements for decent human survival. “The current high cost of
living not only denies the ability to lead dignified lives but inhibits effective exploitation of
God-given talents,” says Muweme.

It is of utmost necessity therefore that the minimum wage as last set by the Ministry of
Labour in 2002 is updated in terms, first of its scope and, second, its inconsistency with the
high cost of living that affects many Zambian people, especially the poor. Moreover, the
JCTR observes that the just released Draft Constitution fails to explicitly grant the power to
set a minimum wage to any branch of the government.

According to Muweme, casualisation of labour where people are engaged as temporary


workers for longer periods and receive limited rights and benefits of a temporary worker is
not only unlawful in the Zambian context but unjust as it is takes away that which is
supposed to accrue to an employee engaged under sufficient labour conditions.

The JCTR believes that government itself must strive to increase the wages of its employees
to encourage more effective service delivery and to set a positive example in the country on
the respect of work. But, as Muweme Muweme observes, “The Zambian worker will not be
free from injustice until employers are simultaneously motivated by prudent government
regulations and a moral obligation to respect workers in their role as co-creators with God
and where workers in return demonstrate responsibility, creativity and hard work.”

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project of the
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P. O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia;
tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 260-1-290759;
e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 04 AUGUST 2005

JCTR ASKS: WHY HAVE WE NOT REALISED


THE VALUE OF EDUCATION AND HEALTH ALL THE TIME?
One of the most effective ways of ensuring that the Zambian people meet basic needs is by
significant investment in education and health, says The Jesuit Centre for Theological
Reflection (JCTR). But the question is: why have we not realised the value of health and
education all the time?
Truly, the evidence of the role of education and health in development is well documented.
Other than facilitating positive changes at the macro level, education and health play a
significant role in micro level changes at the household level seen in terms of the ability of
households to meet basic needs, lead healthy and productive lives, fighting HIV/AIDS, engaging
in political processes for the improvement of their communities, etc. There can never be any
good national plan other than that which accords priority to education and health.
According to Muweme Muweme of the Social Conditions Research Project of the JCTR basic
needs in Zambia have by far and for long been very difficult to meet. This situation of
inadequate decent human living conditions is stifling individual creativity, and affecting effective
participation by the people in the national development process.
For example, the JCTR monthly Basic Needs Basket estimates the cost of food items such as
mealie meal, beans, green vegetables, cooking oil meat, eggs, etc., and essential non-food
items such as housing in medium density area, energy, wash and bath soap for a family of six.
In the month of July, the Basic Needs Basket was recorded at K513,870 for food in Lusaka,
K501,700 in Livingstone, K494,710 in Kabwe, K557,830 in Ndola, K496,890 in Kitwe and
K497,100 in Luanshya.
The JCTR monthly Basic Needs Basket provides an independent and evidence based view of
what is happening in people’s living conditions. “The relationship,” says Muweme, “between the
cost of basic needs and people’s incomes shows to what extent organisations in particular and
Zambia in general is either promoting social exclusion or promoting societal integration and
people’s effective participation in national development.”
It is in such a context that the JCTR strongly endorses the view of President Levy Patrick
Mwanawasa, SC when he mentioned during the Press Conference of 03 August 2005 that
“plans for education and health be developed within sixty days with the participation of trade
unions.” But our education should be more than passing examinations, it should train the mind,
encourage good character and should be original. But above all, there is need to ensure that
education and health are reflected in our new Constitution in the Bill of Rights as a basic human
right.
JCTR is pleased that the Draft Constitution reflects the Bill of Rights and it is hoped that this will
remain as such in the final Constitution. That way, government will be obliged to make clear
efforts to meet the needs of quality education and health and it will also ensure accountability
and transparency by the government in its preparation of the National Budget and the
distribution of national resources. In addition to primary education being free in the truest
sense, there is need to make primary level education compulsory.
It is the view of the JCTR that the forerunner to effective national development is the meeting of
basic needs of the people which in turn depend on education and health. The meeting of basic
needs by the people will facilitate social development. Indeed JCTR believes that “social
development is economic development”. To realise this, there can never be any other route
other than significant investment in education and health.
[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project of the
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P. O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia;
tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 260-1-290759;
e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 05 SEPTEMBER 2005

JCTR CALLS FOR SERIOUS EFFORTS AT


MEETING MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS IN ZAMBIA
The recent meeting called by the government and the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) to review Zambia’s progress towards attainment of the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) revealed a serious situation of hunger that deserves everyone’s
attention and a significant shift away from looking at hunger as a way of life, says the Jesuit
Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR).
Inadequate food not only affects education and health -- such as retarding growth in children
– but also results into loss of productivity in the nation leading to a compromise of national
development. “The failure,” says Muweme Muweme of the JCTR, “to reduce the number of
people suffering from hunger is indicative of the fact that there are other considerations that
need to be looked at in order to enable households have access to adequate food all the
time other than considerations of food production, distribution, communication infrastructure,
etc.”
Prominent among issues to pay attention to is the question of household income in Zambia.
It is a well known fact that there are serious problems of household’s access to food on
account of income.
The JCTR has constantly highlighted this situation through its simple but very useful monthly
Basic Needs Basket that has revealed a general inadequacy of household incomes in
relation to meeting essential needs. The Basic Needs Basket is compiled through gathering
of prices of essential food and non-food items to estimate cost of living for a family of six in
Lusaka, Livingstone, Kabwe, Ndola, Luanshya and Kitwe. The Basic Needs Basket only
highlights the essential requirements of food such as mealie meal, kapenta, green
vegetables, cooking oil, milk, etc., as well as non-food requirements such as housing water,
energy, soap, etc.
In the month of August, the cost of food alone in Lusaka was recorded at K513,590 while the
total for the Basic Needs Basket was at K1,358,990. Note that this figure does not include
other essential costs such as transport, health, fuel, etc. If these are added, the cost would
be much higher than K1,358,990.
At another level, the failure to reduce the number of people suffering from hunger is
indicative of the inadequate attention being given to the attainment of MDGs. Zambia needs
a behaviour that is consistent with identified or set priorities and a scenario where there are
clearly defined links between MDGs and other national development processes taking place.
For example, in a situation where we have inadequate household incomes, it means efforts
must be directed at practical ways of creating employment with clear targets of measuring
the number and kind of jobs being created. “Improvement of people’s lives calls for not only
having clearly identified priorities but most importantly also calls for sticking to priorities day-
by-day, month-by-month and year-by-year,” says Muweme Muweme.
The JCTR strongly believes that there must be drastic measures seen in expansion of
education and health, including more efforts in agricultural development as well as measures
such as significant creation of quality employment opportunities and a certain work ethic for
Zambia to start recording serious progress in towards meeting the MDGS.

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project
of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P. O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia;
tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 260-1-290759;
e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm; internet: www.jctr.org.zm]
PRESS RELEASE 06 OCTOBER 2005

FUEL CRISIS TO AFFECT MORE THE POOR, SAYS JCTR


There is no doubt at all that the current fuel crisis affects more strongly those members of our
society that are already living on the margins of survival. But the crisis also exposes the
downside of our current development approaches, says the Jesuit Centre for Theological
Reflection (JCTR).
While we can talk about blanket or across-the-board impact of the current fuel crisis in the
country, we must remember that it is the widows, the unemployed, the rural populations,
those who have been waiting for their terminal benefits for a long time, those who cannot
afford three meals per day, etc., who will bear the greatest impact of this situation both
immediately and in the long terms, says Muweme Muweme of the Social Conditions Project
of the JCTR.
Therefore as we attach great importance to strategic planning in regard to the management
of fuel in Zambia -- which has certainly not been effective this far – also it is critical to
remember that crises of this nature will always have varied impacts across society. Thus
there is the danger of placing some sections or members of society in a much more difficult
situation of recovery.
In addition, the current fuel crisis should remind us in Zambia, in Africa and in the wider
developing world to realise how precarious our socioeconomic situations are and more
seriously to rethink our development approaches. “Today,” says Muweme, “talk of
development is more inclined towards simply wealth and material acquisition, and that is how
come one hears in the discourse of Zambia’s development sentiments like replacing “poverty
reduction” with “wealth creation”. But this implicitly suggests that regardless of what is
happening to the earth’s resources, we have to move on. Unfortunately, this is a common
but certainly a false and non-sustainable approach to addressing our problems.”
Much as it is obvious that the current fuel crisis is not predicated on over-consumption of the
commodity here in Zambia, it is important that the country’s development efforts strongly
respect, care and properly utilize the earth’s resources. Shouldn’t Zambia be setting an
example to the rest of the world in the utilisation of resources, particularly to those that are
consuming more of the earth’s resources such as crude oil?
The JCTR Basic Needs Basket (measuring the cost of living for a family of six in Lusaka,
Livingston, Kabwe, Ndola, Luanshya and Kitwe) is a highlight of food and non-food items
necessary for a decent and sustainable human survival. Its composition is certainly not
designed to promote movement towards unnecessarily higher levels of consumption. Rather
it shows only basic requirements for survival, which unfortunately even at that level has
continued to be beyond many households in Zambia. For example, in the month of
September, the cost of basic needs, food and non-food in Lusaka stood at K1,353,790.
It is JCTR’s view that Zambia can become a force for change by moving away from the
current approaches to development designed on massive consumption of the earth’s
resources. The current fuel crisis offers a challenging occasion to reflect on the kind of
development Zambia is taking. One might well view Brigadier General Miyanda’s cycling as
a political ploy but one could also ask, is it demonstrating an approach that makes more
sense to have a sustainable world?

[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project
of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P. O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia;
tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 260-1-290759; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm;
internet: www.jctr.org.zm
PRESS RELEASE 02 NOVEMBER 2005

JCTR SAYS DEVELOPMENT INTERVENTIONS


SHOULD BRING CHANGES AT A FAMILY LEVEL
Because the family is the basic unit of social cohesion and the primary determinant of a
nation’s character, there is need to pay particular attention to conditions within households in
the current socioeconomic context, says the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR).
We should all critically examine the household environment in which we are bringing up
children, in terms of not only the material wellbeing but also the attitudes and values
communicated to young people.
“The family,” says Muwme Muweme, Coordinator of the Social Conditions Research Project
of the JCTR, “provides the foundation for the socialisation of children which includes passing
on such values as honesty, responsibility, respect, love for others, etc. It is the primary level
and preparatory stage for individual contribution to wider society. A child who is raised
without good values will always struggle to make positive impacts in life.”
Since national change is to a larger extent influenced by what is happening at the family
level, a nation must undergo some analysis at the family level if it begins to see problems
such as high levels of poverty, corruption, undesirable social behaviour, etc.
For this reason, the JCTR produces the Basic Needs Basket, which monitors the cost of
essential food and non-food items to an averaged-sized family of six. On one level, the
Basic Needs Basket shows how families struggle to provide for the minimum need to survive
with a decent standard of living. But, according to Muweme, at a deeper level the Basic
Needs Basket exposes the difficult faced by parents to raise children who have strong
values, hopes for the future, confidence in their own abilities, faith in the benefits of hard
work, etc.
For example, in the month of October the cost of food alone was K509,060 in Lusaka, and
adding costs of essential non-food items, the cost of basic needs totals K1,348,860. If a
family cannot afford this cost, what is the effect on children? It means negative effects such
as a lack of concentration at school, poor nutrition resulting in stunted growth, street children,
etc.
The JCTR attaches great importance to the statement by President Mwanawasa that there
should be responsible parenthood in our nation. It is indeed irresponsible to have children
when one cannot look after them in terms of not only meeting their material needs but also
ensuring that they grow into responsible adults.
However, much as the responsibility of bringing up children rests with parents, it is important
to recognise that it is the responsibility of communities and government to create a suitable
environment to help parents raise children well. This means the creation of sustainable
sources of livelihoods, development of infrastructure, increased access to adequate and
quality health care, offering affordable quality education, etc. One necessary step to
ensuring that this happens is to have in the Zambian Constitution’s Bill of Rights explicit
inclusion of economic, social and cultural rights to legally assure enjoyment of these basic
necessities.
The economic problems of Zambia have had a negative effect of not only making it difficult
for households to effectively meet their needs but also have eroded the ability of parents to
fulfil their obligations to their children. It is the view of the JCTR that approaches to national
development must include efforts to strengthen values at the family level (i.e., honesty,
responsibility, hard work, etc) alongside efforts to fight other forms of deprivations.
[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project
of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P. O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia;
tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 260-1-290759; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm;
internet: www.jctr.org.zm
PRESS RELEASE 06 DECEMBER 2005

MONTHLY COST OF FOOD ALONE AT K506,150: IS THE GAIN


IN THE VALUE OF THE KWACHA HELPING THE PEOPLE? ASKS JCTR
Economic performance must be judged on the basis of the positive impacts experienced by
the people, more so by those that are living on the margins of sustenance, observes the
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR). Currently, there is so much speculation
about the reasons to explain the gain in value of the Kwacha in relation to the United States
Dollar.
But one key element in guiding this discussion of the Kwacha-US Dollar relationship
concerns the beneficial outcome to the people. While it may be true that effects of positive
economic policy take some time to be felt by the ordinary people, it is also imperative that
we realise that the depth of suffering by the people has been too significant, prolonged and in
many ways spread very unevenly between rural and urban locations.
Development approaches in Zambia have been unduly oriented to urban areas more than to
rural areas. The attention given to rural areas in terms of agriculture has not been matched
by meeting the cry of the majority rural people for road infrastructure, health and education
facilities, livelihood opportunities, etc.
If the strengthening of the Kwacha against the dollar is considered as a meaningful
indication, not only for itself but as a sign of how the larger economy is improving, as some
observers have put it, then there is cause for greater optimism about the future by the
Zambian people.
However, the fact that the strengthening of the Kwacha has not had any perceivable
relationship to the reduction of key production ingredients such as fuel means that this
phenomenon is meaningful only for itself. Shouldn’t we have had by now some price
reduction of petroleum products taking effect at “midnight” as the case has always been
when the Kwacha loses its strength? Certainly a reduction in the cost of fuel will influence
the cost of other items such as food and essential non-food items.
Again, if the strengthening of the Kwacha has been meaningful not only for itself but as a
sign of how the larger economy is improving people’s lives, shouldn’t this phenomenon be
reflected in the cost of meeting basic needs? According to the JCTR Basic Needs Basket
that measures cost of food and essential non-food items for a family of six, the cost of food
alone in Lusaka amounted to K506,150 at end of November 2005. This figure represents a
slight reduction of K2,910 in the overall cost of food from the cost of K509,060 in October.
Some increases were recorded in the prices of mealie meal, green vegetables and milk,
while decreases were registered in the prices of beans and meat. Other food items like
kapenta, dry fish, cooking oil remained same. One important point to note is that the
increase in the price of mealie meal hurts the majority poor people. But also small decreases
in the price of some commodities and stability in others is not enough to impact positively on
the lives of the people. There is need for some significant and consistent reductions to
benefit households.
There is one important lesson to draw from the current situation: The need to have an
objective and clear way of measuring economic performance and ultimately development by
seeing what is truly happening in people’s lives. If the economy is improving, it must be
reflected in the ability of the people to have access to basic needs. That is how true
development should be seen and measured.
For now, whatever the reasons for the appreciation of the Kwacha are or may be, one issue
remains clear: we still have a lot of work to do in Zambia to improve people’s lives.
[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project of the
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P. O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia;
tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 260-1-290759; e-mail: socialjctr@zamnet.zm;
internet: www.jctr.org.zm
PRESS RELEASE 04 JANUARY 2006
JCTR REFLECTIONS ON 2005: IMPROVEMENT OF
NATION’S MICRO-ECONOMIC SITUATIONS PARAMOUNT
As the Zambian nation moves into 2006, it is imperative to recall once again the need to improve the
micro-economic situations of the people which must always run high in our development priorities.
The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection strongly believes that some of the positive societal
changes occurring in Zambia must be felt at the household level, especially reflected in people’s
quality of life. That way, we will see a Zambian society with an inclusive development process and a
stronger moral fabric.
For Zambia, there is every reason to be optimistic about the future if only some of the inhibiting
factors for the movement of people from less human conditions to more human conditions are
addressed. With the much talked about huge natural resource endowment of water, land, minerals,
peace and the people themselves, Zambia has no reason to remain in the current state where it is
hard for its people to meet the minimum standard requirements for decent survival.
As we were concluding December 2005, the JCTR Basic Needs Basket measuring cost of food and
essential non-food items for a family of six recorded the cost of food alone at K512,100. In
November, the cost of food was recorded at K506,150. This means that there was an increase of
K5,950 in the cost of food. This increase is attributed to rises in the prices of mealie meal, tomatoes,
beans, green vegetables, kapenta, etc. For green vegetables and tomatoes, prices tend to rise
during the rainy season because of higher production costs.
Costs of essential non-food items such as housing, water, energy, wash and bath soap were
recorded at K856,600 compared to K839,400 in November. There was a significant increase in the
price of charcoal packed in a 90Kg bag from K31,400 in November to K40,000 in December, due to
production and transportation difficulties that come with the rainy season. Other non-food items such
as vaseline, wash and bath soap remained the same in prices as in the month of November.
Trends in the cost of food alone for 2005 showed -- as indicated by the graph below -- a marked
increase in the price of food between April and May. These remained relatively high with some minor
down and upward changes throughout the rest of 2005.

Graph show ing trends in cost of food alone


for a fam ily of six in Lusaka, 2005

520,000
515,000
510,000
505,000
500,000
Kwacha

495,000
490,000
485,000
480,000
475,000
470,000
465,000
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Month

2005 will also be remembered as a year that saw the start of a long-drawn-out debate on the
constitution making process. The unnecessary and continued polarization of the nation on this issue
will only work to undermine social cohesion, political focus, and the necessary national sense of
purpose required to effectively meet the challenges of development. These challenges include the
ability of poor people to meet needs of adequate food, HIV/AIDS, education, health, gender
disparities with unjust consequences, crime, prostitution, and the very unfortunate presence and
increases in the number of orphans and street children.
But one of the most important elements in relation to meeting some of these challenges is to
ultimately reflect in the Bill of Rights -- the heart of the Constitution -- of the new Constitution
economic, social and cultural rights. The guaranteeing of these rights under this arrangement we
believe will enhance achievement of intended and desired development goals (Millennium
Development Goals). It is of utmost importance that development outcomes are not only dependent
on the benevolence of an individual, group or particular government but also on the mandates of a
good Constitution.
In hindsight, it must be acknowledged that there were some great efforts done in 2005 to improve
situations of the people. Some of these efforts continue being reflected in government’s policy
directions. For example, the continued prioritisation of agriculture (as announced by the Republican
President) is not only encouraging but is an effort directly related to the welfare or lack thereof of the
majority of the Zambian people. Except that these development efforts were affected by negative
factors such as the serious fuel shortage of September/October, drought, the HIV/AIDS problem, etc.
Moreover, there is need to move alongside these efforts with a corresponding attention to the pillars
of any progress of the people, education and health. It is only through education and good health
that a nation can effectively realise its aspirations for development including ensuring that
empowerment programmes of those disadvantaged are sustainable.
As we start the year 2006, there are a number of points that need both attention and serious
reflection on. They include the following:
• The 2006 national budget must explicitly be pro-poor, using available HIPC funds.
• Government should not only strive to pay its workers (teachers, nurses, etc.) adequately but
must ensure that wages are paid when they fall due. Certainly the situation of delayed
salaries raises serious ethical questions and must not be allowed to continue.
• It is also imperative that the Ministry of labour and Social Security is strengthened both in
terms of personnel and resource allocations to effectively carryout national audits pertaining to
the conditions under which people are engaged in employment.
• The direction of the Constitution-making process must be in such a way that it must not bring
to bear –especially if not dealt with openly and in a non-partisan fashion -- its potential of
distracting attention from other important areas of national development
• The coming 2006 elections must seriously be issue-based in regard to what each aspiring
candidate or political party at any level is going to do to promote real development in Zambia.
There is need for all those who will be aspiring for any political office to orient their discussions
and be committed to issues that have a direct bearing on the quality of life of the Zambian
people.
• Positive economic developments such as reduction in fuel prices in mid-December and the
recent appreciation of the Kwacha must ultimately be felt by those that are living on the
margins of sustenance, the poor.
The year 2005 was marked by Zambia’s attention to the total external debt cancellation effort (i.e.,
attainment of HIPC Completion Point) Now that positive developments are happening under this
effort, 2006 should be marked by more hard work by the Zambian people and continued prudent
national resource management, especially considering that 2006 is an election year. There is a great
opportunity to effectively face the important challenge of improving people’s lives now that the major
impediment to servicing the social sectors and other needy areas has started being removed. We
must realise that there should be no excuse to enhanced prudent resource utilisation and national
hard work!
“But above all,” says Muweme Muweme of the Social Conditions Research Project of the JCTR,
“Zambia’s development efforts must be seen to be creating positive changes at the micro level, the
household and especially the household’s relationship to basic needs. Households must be able to
adequately meet the needs of food, education, health, etc. That should be the ultimate aim of all
national policies and programmes.”
[For more information, contact Muweme Muweme, Social Conditions Research Project of the
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P. O. Box 37774, Lusaka, Zambia;
tel: 260-1-290410; fax: 260-1-290759; e-mail: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm;
internet: www.jctr.org.zm
Appendix B: Demonstration of
Methodology

• Guidelines for Field Researchers

• Example Calculations from January 2006

• Example Basic Needs Baskets from January 2006


Guidelines for Data Collection:

The following guidelines currently provide direction to all Field Researchers in the survey of
prices for the Basic Needs Basket:

• The gathering of prices for the calculation of the cost of the BNB shall be done every
month from the same identified retail outlets in each respective town.

• Due to variation in sizes of some BNB items (dry fish, tomato, onion, kapenta, greens,
beans), the scale provided by the JCTR shall be used consistently and in the good
judgement of each Field Researcher to record prices for accurate weights.

• Prices shall be collected at all times from the same identified brand names or types
(breakfast mealie meal, Zambian sugar, Tips tea, Lifebuoy soap and Boom wash paste)
to ensure uniformity across all BNB towns. For those items not available in all BNB towns
(2 litre cooking oil, fresh milk, Siavonga kapenta), appropriate alternatives (2.5 litre
cooking oil, long life milk, Mpulungu kapenta) shall be recorded and clearly labelled as
such.

• In addition to collection of data for essential food and non-food items, prices shall also be
collected for additional items that include Basic Education (PTA per year), Health
(monthly scheme or consultation fee) and transport (bus fare for three round-trip routes)

• The Collection Template distributed by the JCTR shall be used to record prices from each
retail outlet and prices of the additional items. Also, a separate sheet of paper shall be
used to explain any qualitative information relating to price variations learned from
marketeers or traders.

• Information shall be collected from the 25th to the 27th day of each month and shall be
faxed or emailed to the JCTR on or before the 28th of each month.

• The calculation of the average cost of the Basic Needs Basket shall be done by the JCTR
and 200 copies of the computed BNB will be mailed to Field Researchers within three
business days following receipt of all the data.

• Field Researchers shall distribute the monthly BNB within their respective towns to Focal
Persons for strategic stakeholders groups and to other relevant stakeholders.

• All brands and quantities within the essential food and non-food items shall be reviewed
on a quarterly basis for variation in market preference or product availability. Electricity,
housing, water and health fees shall be updated on a quarterly basis. The cost of
education shall be adjusted on a yearly basis as new PTA fees are determined.
Transport charges shall be reviewed to reflect changes as they occur.

• A review workshop shall be held on an annual basis in Lusaka in conjunction with a


national stakeholder forum.
Basic Needs Basket : The Cost of Essential Food and Non-Food Items for a Family of Six Living in Lusaka - January 2006
Lusaka Average Northmead Town Centre Shoprite City Market Chawama Market Chainda Market Kabwata Market Matero Market
ITEM QUANTITY KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL
Mealie Meal (breakfast) 3 x 25 Kg bags 41,100 123,300 43,000 129,000 39,000 117,000 41,000 123,000 41,000 123,000 41,000 123,000 42,000 126,000 41,000 123,000
Beans 2 Kgs 6,500 13,000 8,000 16,000 5,000 10,000 5,000 10,000 6,000 12,000 8,000 16,000 7,000 14,000
Kapenta (Siavonga) 2 Kgs 35,300 70,600 32,000 64,000 32,000 64,000 28,000 56,000 40,000 80,000 40,000 80,000 40,000 80,000
Dry Fish 1 Kg 40,000 40,000 30,000 30,000 60,000 60,000 30,000 30,000
Meat (mixed cut) 4 Kgs 12,400 49,600 13,500 54,000 12,900 51,600 12,000 48,000 12,000 48,000 12,000 48,000 12,000 48,000
Eggs 2 Units 5,000 10,000 5,000 10,000 5,000 10,000 5,000 10,000 5,000 10,000 5,000 10,000 5,000 10,000
Vegetables (greens) 7.5 Kgs 2,100 15,750 2,500 18,750 2,000 15,000 1,800 13,500 2,200 16,500 2,000 15,000 2,000 15,000
Tomato 4 Kgs 2,500 10,000 3,000 12,000 3,980 15,920 2,000 8,000 2,400 9,600 2,000 8,000 2,000 8,000 2,000 8,000
Onion 4 Kgs 2,400 9,600 3,000 12,000 2,980 11,920 2,000 8,000 2,400 9,600 2,000 8,000 2,000 8,000 2,400 9,600
Milk (fresh) 1 x 2 litres 8,700 8,700 7,900 7,900 6,980 6,980 9,600 9,600 9,200 9,200 9,600 9,600
Cooking oil 2 x 2 litres 16,200 32,400 17,600 35,200 16,980 33,960 15,000 30,000 16,000 32,000 15,500 31,000
Bread 1 loaf/day 2,500 75,000 2,200 66,000 2,200 66,000 2,500 75,000 2,500 75,000 2,500 75,000 2,500 75,000 3,000 90,000
Sugar 8 Kgs 4,600 36,800 5,000 40,000 4,450 35,600 4,500 36,000 4,500 36,000 4,500 36,000 4,500 36,000 4,500 36,000
Salt 1 Kg 2,100 2,100 1,400 1,400 3,550 3,550 2,000 2,000 1,800 1,800 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000
Tea (leaves) 1 x 500 g 9,400 9,400 8,400 8,400 9,500 9,500 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 8,000 8,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000
Sub-total 506,250

Charcoal 2 x 90 Kg bags 41,400 82,800 35,000 70,000 45,000 90,000 37,000 74,000 45,000 90,000 45,000 90,000
Soap (Lifebuoy) 10 tablets 1,300 13,000 1,500 15,000 1,350 13,500 1,200 12,000 1,200 12,000 1,300 13,000 1,200 12,000 1,300 13,000
Wash soap (Boom) 4 x 400 g 2,700 10,800 2,800 11,200 2,780 11,120 2,700 10,800 2,700 10,800 2,700 10,800 2,700 10,800 2,700 10,800
Jelly 1 x 500 mL 5,800 5,800 6,000 6,000 4,880 4,880 6,000 6,000 5,500 5,500 6,500 6,500 6,000 6,000 6,000 6,000
Electricity (medium density - fixed) 113,000 113,000
Water (medium density - fixed) 34,000 34,000
Housing (medium density - 3 bedroom) 650,000 650,000
Sub-total 909,400

Total for Basic Needs Basket 1,415,650


Basic Education (grades 8-9: PTA + user fee per year) 65,000 - 150,000
2ndary Education (grades 10-12: PTA + user fee per year) 200,000 - 240,000
Health (monthly scheme per person) 1,500
Health (no-scheme emergency fee) 8,000
Transport (round trip bus fare: Chilenje-Town) 3,400
Transport (round trip bus fare: Chelston-Town) 4,000
Transport (round trip bus fare: Matero-Town) 3,200
Fuel (Petrol per litre) 4,743
Fuel (Diesel per litre) 4,420
Fuel (Parafin per litre) 3,314
Teacher 407,000-913,000
Secretary in Civil Service 390,000-791,000
Nurse 461,000-1,489,000
Police Officer (Constable to Chief Inspecto 375,000-679,000
Security Guard (with a firm) 120,000-715,000
Pieceworker on a Farm K3,000 - K15,000 per day
Basic Needs Basket : The Cost of Essential Food and Non-Food Items for a Family of Six Living in Livingstone - January 2006
Livingstone Average Town Centre Shoprite Town Centre Market Dambwa Market Maramba Market Mbita Market Elaine Brittel
ITEM QUANTITY KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL
Mealie Meal (breakfast) 3 x 25 Kg bags 42,800 128,400 39,000 117,000 44,000 132,000 44,000 132,000 43,000 129,000 44,000 132,000
Beans 2 Kgs 8,800 17,600 8,500 17,000 10,000 20,000 10,000 20,000 7,000 14,000 7,500 15,000 10,000 20,000
Kapenta (Siavonga) 2 Kgs 32,400 64,800 32,000 64,000 30,000 60,000 30,000 60,000 32,000 64,000 38,000 76,000
Dry Fish 1 Kg 30,000 30,000 30,000 30,000 30,000 30,000
Meat (mixed cut) 4 Kgs 13,000 52,000 16,900 67,600 12,000 48,000 12,000 48,000 12,000 48,000 12,000 48,000
Eggs 2 Units 5,900 11,800 5,600 11,200 6,000 12,000 6,000 12,000 6,000 12,000 6,000 12,000 6,000 12,000
Vegetables (greens) 7.5 Kgs 2,600 19,500 2,500 18,750 2,500 18,750 2,500 18,750 3,000 22,500
Tomato 4 Kgs 3,200 12,800 3,980 15,920 3,000 12,000 3,000 12,000 3,000 12,000 3,000 12,000 3,000 12,000
Onion 4 Kgs 4,200 16,800 2,980 11,920 4,500 18,000 5,000 20,000 5,000 20,000 5,000 20,000 3,000 12,000
Milk (fresh) 1 x 2 litres 7,800 7,800 6,980 6,980 8,000 8,000 8,000 8,000 8,000 8,000 8,000 8,000 8,000 8,000
Cooking Oil 2 x 2 litres 15,500 31,000 16,980 33,960 16,000 32,000 15,000 30,000 14,000 28,000 15,000 30,000 16,000 32,000
Bread 1 loaf/day 3,200 96,000 2,200 66,000 3,300 99,000 3,300 99,000 3,300 99,000 3,500 105,000 3,500 105,000
Sugar 8 Kgs 4,700 37,600 4,450 35,600 5,000 40,000 4,500 36,000 4,500 36,000 4,500 36,000 5,000 40,000
Salt 1 Kg 2,800 2,800 3,550 3,550 3,000 3,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 3,000 3,000 3,000 3,000
Tea (Katiyo) 500 g 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000
Sub-total 538,900

Charcoal (50 kg / 90 kg bag) 180 Kgs 85,000 35,000 70,000 25,000 90,000 25,000 90,000 45,000 90,000
Soap (Lifebuoy) 10 tablets 1,500 15,000 1,350 13,500 1,500 15,000 1,500 15,000 1,500 15,000 1,500 15,000 1,500 15,000
Wash soap (Boom) 4 x 400 g 3,000 12,000 2,780 11,120 3,000 12,000 3,000 12,000 3,000 12,000 3,000 12,000 3,000 12,000
Jelly 1 x 500 mL 6,000 6,000 5,980 5,980 6,000 6,000 6,000 6,000 6,000 6,000 6,000 6,000 6,000 6,000
Electricity (medium density - fixed) 100,000 100,000
Water (medium density - fixed) 70,000 70,000
Housing (medium density - 3 bedroom) 425,000 425,000
Sub-total 713,000

Total for Basic Needs Basket 1,251,900


Basic Education (grades 1-7: PTA per year) 5,000 - 30,000
Basic Education (grades 8-9: PTA per year) 30,000 - 65,000
Secondary Education (grades 10-12: PTA per year) 65,000 - 192,000
Health (consultation fee) 6,000
Transport (round trip bus fare: Dambwa-Town) 6,000
Transport (round trip bus fare: Marambwa-Town) 6,000
Transport (round trip bus fare: Victoria Falls-Town) 4,000
Basic Needs Basket : The Cost of Essential Food and Non-Food Items for a Family of Six Living in Ndola - January 2006
Ndola Average Masala Market Mushili Market Lubuto Market Chifubu Market Shoprite Market
ITEM QUANTITY KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL
Mealie Meal (breakfast) 3 x 25 Kg bags 39,400 118,200 38,000 114,000 39,500 118,500 38,000 114,000 40,000 120,000 41,500 124,500
Beans 2 Kgs 6,900 13,800 6,500 13,000 7,000 14,000 6,500 13,000 6,500 13,000 7,980 15,960
Kapenta (Mpulungu) 2 Kgs 35,400 70,800 35,000 70,000 36,500 73,000 40,000 80,000 30,000 60,000
Dry Fish 1 Kg 57,500 57,500 60,000 60,000 60,000 60,000 60,000 60,000 50,000 50,000
Meat (mixed cut) 4 Kgs 16,400 65,600 16,500 66,000 16,000 64,000 16,000 64,000 15,000 60,000 18,540 74,160
Eggs 2 Units 5,400 10,800 5,000 10,000 5,000 10,000 5,000 10,000 6,000 12,000 6,000 12,000
Vegetables (greens) 7.5 Kgs 2,000 15,000 2,000 15,000 2,000 15,000 2,000 15,000 2,000 15,000
Tomato 4 Kgs 3,600 14,400 3,500 14,000 3,500 14,000 3,500 14,000 3,500 14,000 3,900 15,600
Onion 4 Kgs 4,800 19,200 5,000 20,000 5,500 22,000 5,000 20,000 5,000 20,000 3,540 14,160
Milk (long-life) 4 x 500 mL 2,700 10,800 2,700 10,800 2,700 10,800 2,700 10,800 2,700 10,800 2,450 9,800
Cooking Oil (2.5 litre bottle) 4 litres 19,000 30,400 18,000 28,800 18,500 29,600 19,500 31,200 20,000 32,000 20,950 (2 litres)
Bread 1 loaf/day 2,700 81,000 2,700 81,000 2,700 81,000 2,700 81,000 2,800 84,000 2,500 75,000
Sugar 8 Kgs 4,500 36,000 4,500 36,000 4,500 36,000 4,500 36,000 4,500 36,000 4,450 35,600
Salt 1 Kg 2,400 2,400 2,000 2,000 2,500 2,500 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 3,600 3,600
Tea (Kawambwa) 4 x 125 g 2,800 11,200 2,500 10,000 2,500 10,000 2,500 10,000 2,500 10,000 4,000 16,000
Sub-total 557,100

Charcoal (25 Kg Bag) 180 Kgs 15,100 108,720 15,500 111,600 15,500 111,600 14,500 104,400 15,000 108,000
Soap (Lifebuoy) 10 tablets 1,300 13,000 1,300 13,000 1,300 13,000 1,200 12,000 1,300 13,000 1,350 13,500
Wash soap (Boom) 4 x 400 g 2,800 11,200 2,700 10,800 2,700 10,800 2,700 10,800 2,700 10,800 3,000 12,000
Jelly 1 x 500 mL 5,700 5,700 5,500 5,500 5,500 5,500 5,500 5,500 6,000 6,000 5,950 5,950
Electricity (medium density - fixed) 55,000 55,000
Water (medium density - fixed) 35,000 35,000
Housing (medium density - 3 bedroom) 375,000 375,000
Sub-total 603,620

Total for Basic Needs Basket 1,160,720


Basic Education (grades 1-7: PTA per year) 50,000
Basic Education (grades 8-9: PTA+user fee per year) 220,000
Health (monthly scheme per person / consultation fee) 1,000
Transport (round trip bus fare: Ndeke-Town) 2,800
Transport (round trip bus fare: Chifubu-Town) 3,200
Transport (round trip bus fare: Masala-Town) 3,000
Transport (round trip bus fare: Mushili-Town) 3,000
Uniform for primary school 190,000
Uniform for secondary school 250,000
Basic Needs Basket : The Cost of Essential Food and Non-Food Items for a Family of Six Living in Kitwe - January 2006
Kitwe Average Chamboli Market Nakadoli Market Chimwemwe Market Chisokone Market Shoprite Market
ITEM QUANTITY KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL
Mealie Meal (breakfast) 3 x 25 Kg bags 41,400 124,200 41,000 123,000 42,000 126,000 42,000 126,000 42,000 126,000 40,000 120,000
Beans 2 Kgs 4,000 8,000 4,000 8,000 4,000 8,000 4,000 8,000 4,000 8,000
Kapenta (Mpulungu) 2 Kgs 28,800 57,600 30,000 60,000 30,000 60,000 30,000 60,000 25,000 50,000
Dry Fish 1 Kg 28,300 28,300 29,000 29,000 29,000 29,000 28,000 28,000 27,000 27,000
Meat (mixed cut) 4 Kgs 14,300 57,200 13,000 52,000 14,000 56,000 14,500 58,000 13,000 52,000 16,900 67,600
Eggs 2 Units 5,400 10,800 5,000 10,000 5,000 10,000 6,000 12,000 5,000 10,000 5,967 11,934
Vegetables (greens) 7.5 Kgs 2,000 15,000 2,000 15,000 2,000 15,000 2,000 15,000 2,000 15,000 1,980
Tomato 4 Kgs 4,000 16,000 4,000 16,000 4,000 16,000 4,000 16,000 4,000 16,000 3,980 15,920
Onion 4 Kgs 5,200 20,800 5,000 20,000 5,000 20,000 5,000 20,000 5,000 20,000 5,980 23,920
Milk (long-life) 4 x 500 mL 2,600 10,400 2,800 11,200 2,600 10,400 2,800 11,200 2,500 10,000 2,450 9,800
Cooking Oil (2.5 litre bottle) 4 litres 17,900 28,640 17,500 28,000 18,000 28,800 18,000 28,800 18,000 28,800 19,980 (2 litres)
Bread 1 loaf/day 2,700 81,000 2,800 84,000 2,800 84,000 2,800 84,000 2,800 84,000 2,200 66,000
Sugar 8 Kgs 4,500 36,000 4,500 36,000 4,500 36,000 5,000 40,000 4,500 36,000 4,050 32,400
Salt 1 Kg 1,900 1,900 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 1,600 1,600
Tea (Kawambwa) 500 g 7,700 7,700 7,600 7,600 7,600 7,600 7,600 7,600 7,600 7,600 7,960 7,960
Sub-total 503,540

Charcoal 2 x 90 Kg bags 35,000 70,000 35,000 70,000 35,000 70,000 35,000 70,000 35,000 70,000
Soap (Lifebuoy) 10 tablets 1,200 12,000 1,200 12,000 1,200 12,000 1,300 13,000 1,100 11,000 1,350 13,500
Wash soap (Boom) 4 x 400 g 2,900 11,600 2,800 11,200 2,800 11,200 2,800 11,200 2,800 11,200 3,250 13,000
Jelly 1 x 500 mL 6,500 6,500 6,500 6,500 6,500 6,500 6,500 6,500 6,500 6,500 6,250 6,250
Electricity (medium density - fixed) 64,000 64,000
Water (medium density - fixed) 37,000 37,000
Housing (medium density - 3 bedroom) 350,000 350,000
Sub-total 551,100

Total for Basic Needs Basket 1,054,640


Basic Education (grades 8-9: PTA + user per year) 120,000
Health (Kitwe Central Hospital: annual per person scheme) 8,000
Transport (round trip bus fare: Chamboli-Town) 3,200
Transport (round trip bus fare: Ndeke-Town) 3,200
Transport (round trip bus fare: Chimwemwe-Town) 3,200
Transport (round trip bus fare: Garnertone-Town) 6,200
Basic Needs Basket : The Cost of Essential Food and Non-Food Items for a Family of Six Living in Luanshya - January 2006
Luanshya Average Mpatamatu Market Buseko Market Roan Market Mikomfwa Market Town Centre Shoprite
ITEM QUANTITY KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL
Mealie Meal (breakfast) 3 x 25 Kg bags 42,200 126,600 42,000 126,000 42,000 126,000 42,000 126,000 42,000 126,000 42,980 128,940
Beans 2 Kgs 6,000 12,000 6,000 12,000 6,000 12,000 6,000 12,000 6,000 12,000
Kapenta (Mpulungu) 2 Kgs 38,500 77,000 42,000 84,000 35,000 70,000 42,000 84,000 35,000 70,000
Dry Fish 1 Kg 31,300 31,300 30,000 30,000 30,000 30,000 35,000 35,000 30,000 30,000
Meat (mixed cut) 4 Kgs 13,600 54,400 14,000 56,000 14,000 56,000 14,000 56,000 14,000 56,000 11,900 47,600
Eggs 2 Units 5,300 10,600 6,000 12,000 5,000 10,000 5,000 10,000 5,000 10,000 5,667 11,333
Vegetables (greens) 7.5 Kgs 1,500 11,250 1,400 10,500 1,500 11,250 1,500 11,250 1,500 11,250
Tomato 4 Kgs 3,800 15,200 4,000 16,000 4,000 16,000 4,000 16,000 4,000 16,000 2,980 11,920
Onion 4 Kgs 4,400 17,600 5,000 20,000 4,500 18,000 4,500 18,000 5,000 20,000 2,980 11,920
Milk (long-life) 4 x 500 mL 2,600 10,400 2,600 10,400 2,600 10,400 2,500 10,000 2,700 10,800 2,450 9,800
Cooking Oil (2.5 litre bottle) 4 litres 17,400 27,840 17,500 28,000 17,000 27,200 17,500 28,000 17,500 28,000 16,980 (2 litres)
Bread 1 loaf/day 2,400 72,000 2,500 75,000 2,500 75,000 2,500 75,000 2,500 75,000 2,200 66,000
Sugar 8 Kgs 4,500 36,000 4,500 36,000 4,500 36,000 4,500 36,000 4,500 36,000 4,450 35,600
Salt 1 Kg 1,800 1,800 2,000 2,000 1,500 1,500 2,000 2,000 1,500 1,500 1,840 1,840
Tea (Kawambwa) 5 x 100 g 1,800 9,000 1,800 9,000 1,800 9,000 2,000 10,000 2,000 10,000 1,592 7,960
Sub-total 512,990

Charcoal (25 Kg bag) 180 kgs 10,800 77,760 9,000 64,800 12,000 86,400 10,000 72,000 12,000 86,400
Soap (Lifebuoy) 10 tablets 1,200 12,000 1,200 12,000 1,200 12,000 1,200 12,000 1,200 12,000 1,350 13,500
Wash soap (Boom) 4 x 400 g 2,700 10,800 2,600 10,400 2,700 10,800 2,600 10,400 2,700 10,800 2,780 11,120
Jelly 1 x 500 mL 5,900 5,900 6,000 6,000 5,900 5,900 5,500 5,500 6,000 6,000 5,950 5,950
Electricity (medium density - fixed) 66,000 66,000
Water (medium density - fixed) 61,840 61,840
Housing (medium density - 3 bedroom) 175,000 175,000
Sub-total 409,300

Total for Basic Needs Basket 922,290


Basic Education (grades 1-7: PTA per year) 10,000 - 20,000
Basic Education (grades 8-9: PTA + user fee per year) 110,000 - 120,000
Health (consultation fee) 1,000
Transport (round trip bus fare: Mpatamatu-Town) 6,000
Transport (round trip bus fare: Roan-Kalala) 5,600
Transport (round trip bus fare: Roan-Town) 3,000
Basic Needs Basket : The Cost of Essential Food and Non-Food Items for a Family of Six Living in Kabwe - January 2006
Kabwe Average Kamanda Market Katondo Market Nakoli Market Shoprite Lukanga Township
ITEM QUANTITY KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL KWACHA TOTAL
Mealie Meal (breakfast) 3 x 25 Kg bags 39,400 118,200 39,000 117,000 41,000 123,000 38,500 115,500 39,000 117,000 39,500 118,500
Beans 2 Kgs 5,300 10,600 5,000 10,000 5,000 10,000 5,000 10,000 6,000 12,000
Kapenta (Siavonga) 2 Kgs 30,000 60,000 28,000 56,000 32,000 64,000 28,000 56,000 32,000 64,000
Dry Fish 1 Kg 17,000 17,000 14,000 14,000 14,000 14,000 20,000 20,000 20,000 20,000
Meat (mixed cut) 4 Kgs 12,400 49,600 10,000 40,000 10,000 40,000 13,400 53,600 16,000 64,000
Eggs 2 Units 5,000 10,000 5,000 10,000 5,000 10,000 5,000 10,000 5,000 10,000 5,000 10,000
Vegetables (greens) 7.5 Kgs 1,000 7,500 1,000 7,500 800 6,000 1,000 7,500 1,200 9,000
Tomato 4 Kgs 1,800 7,200 1,000 4,000 1,000 4,000 2,000 8,000 2,980 11,920 2,000 8,000
Onion 4 Kgs 2,500 10,000 2,400 9,600 2,400 9,600 2,400 9,600 2,980 11,920 2,400 9,600
Milk (long-life) 4 x 500 mL 2,500 10,000 2,600 10,400 2,500 10,000 2,500 10,000 1,980 7,920 2,700 10,800
Cooking Oil (2.5 litre bottle) 4 litres 16,100 25,760 16,000 25,600 15,000 24,000 17,000 27,200 16,980 (2 litres) 16,500 26,400
Bread 1 loaf/day 2,400 72,000 2,500 75,000 2,500 75,000 2,500 75,000 2,200 66,000 2,500 75,000
Sugar 8 Kgs 4,500 36,000 4,500 36,000 4,500 36,000 4,500 36,000 4,450 35,600 4,300 34,400
Salt 1 Kg 1,900 1,900 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 1,600 1,600 2,000 2,000
Tea (Tips) 500 g 9,000 9,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 7,200 7,200 7,960 7,960 10,000 10,000
Sub-total 444,760

Charcoal (50 Kg bag) 180 Kgs 12,300 44,280 12,000 43,200 15,000 54,000 12,000 43,200 10,000 36,000
Soap (Lifebuoy) 10 tablets 1,200 12,000 1,200 12,000 1,200 12,000 1,000 10,000 1,350 13,500 1,200 12,000
Wash soap (Boom) 4 x 400 g 2,700 10,800 2,800 11,200 2,700 10,800 2,500 10,000 2,780 11,120 2,600 10,400
Jelly 1 x 500 mL 5,300 5,300 5,400 5,400 6,000 6,000 5,000 5,000 4,880 4,880 5,000 5,000
Electricity (medium density - fixed) 70,000 70,000
Water (medium density) 30,000 30,000
Housing (medium density - 3 bedroom) 300,000 300,000
Sub-total 472,380

Total for Basic Needs Basket 917,140


Basic Education (grades 8-9: PTA + user fee per year) 150,000
Health (hospital clinics daily fee) 5,000
Transport (round trip bus fare: Lukanga-Town) 2,400
Transport (round trip bus fare: Ngungu-Town) 2,800
Transport (round trip bus fare: Mine Township-Town) 2,800
JCTR BASIC NEEDS BASKET: LUSAKA
January 2006
(A) COST OF BASIC FOOD ITEMS FOR A FAMILY OF SIX IN LUSAKA

Commodity Kwacha Quantity Total


Mealie meal (breakfast) 41,100 3 x 25 Kg bags 123,300
Beans 6,500 2 Kgs 13,000
Kapenta (Siavonga) 35,300 2 Kgs 70,600
Dry Fish 40,000 1 Kg 40,000
Meat (mixed cut) 12,400 4 Kgs 49,600
Eggs 5,000 2 Units 10,000
Vegetables (greens) 2,100 7.5 Kgs 15,750
Tomato 2,500 4 Kgs 10,000
Onion 2,400 4 Kgs 9,600
Milk (fresh) 8,700 1 x 2 litres 8,700
Cooking oil 16,200 2 x 2 litres 32,400
Bread 2,500 1 loaf/day 75,000
Sugar 4,600 8 Kgs 36,800
Salt 2,100 1 Kg 2,100
Tea (leaves) 9,400 1 x 500 g 9,400
Sub-total 506,250
(B) COST OF ESSENTIAL NON-FOOD ITEMS

Charcoal 41,400 2 x 90 Kg bags 82,800


Soap (Lifebuoy) 1,300 10 tablets 13,000
Wash soap (Boom) 2,700 4 x 400 g 10,800
Jelly (e.g., Vaseline) 5,800 1 x 500 ml 5,800
Electricity (medium density) 113,000 113,000
Water (medium density) 34,000 34,000
Housing (medium density) 650,000 650,000
Sub-total 909,400
Total for Basic Needs Basket 1,415,650
Totals for previous
months: 2005 Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Amount 1,340,840 1,333,170 1,331,950 1,331,920 1,352,130 1,349,650 1,361,770 1,358,990 1,353,790 1,348,860 1,345,550 1,368,700

(C) SOME OTHER ADDITIONAL COSTS


Item Kwacha Item Kwacha
Education (PTA/user fee per year) Health (clinic / hospital fee)
Upper Basic (grades 8-9) K65,000-K150,000 Monthly Scheme (per person) K1,500
Secondary (grades 10-12) K200,000-K240,000 No Scheme Emergency Fee K8,000
Transport (bus fare round trip): Fuel (cost at the pump)
Chilenje-Town K3,400 Petrol (per litre) K4,743
Chelston-Town K4,000 Diesel (per litre) K4,420
Matero-Town K3,200 Paraffin (per litre) K3,314

“Charcoal is expensive because of the production difficulties during the rains season.” – Marketeer in Matero

(D) SOME COMPARATIVE FIGURES OF WAGES--''TAKE HOME PAY''

Guard with Secretary in Civil Police Officer Pieceworker


Teacher Nurse
Security Firm Service (Constable-Chief Inspector) on a Farm
K407,000 to K577,000 to K120,000 to K493,000 to K3,000 to K15,000
Pay Slip K375,000 to K679,000
K913,000 K1,861,000 K715,000 K989,000 per day
th th
This survey was conducted on 25 to 27 January 2006 by the Social Conditions Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological
Reflection. Average prices were calculated on the basis of prices gathered from retail outlets at Northmead, Town Centre (Shoprite), City
Market, Chawama, Chainda, Kabwata, Materso and schools, clinics/hospitals around Lusaka. The January Basic Needs Basket is
approximately US$420 based upon an average middle exchange rate of 3375 Kwacha per US$ at the end of January.
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774, 10101 Lusaka, Zambia
Tel: 260-1-290-410 Fax: 260-1-290-759 E-mail: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm Internet: www.jctr.org.zm
Location: Luwisha House, Plot 5880 Great East Road (opposite UNZA main gate), Lusaka
JCTR BASIC NEEDS BASKET: LIVINGSTONE
January 2006
(A) COST OF BASIC FOOD ITEMS FOR A FAMILY OF SIX IN LIVINGSTONE

Commodity Kwacha Quantity Total


Mealie meal (breakfast) 42,800 3 x 25 Kg bags 128,400
Beans 8,800 2 Kgs 17,600
Kapenta (Siavonga) 32,400 2 Kgs 64,800
Dry Fish 30,000 1 Kg 30,000
Meat (mixed cut) 13,000 4 Kgs 52,000
Eggs 5,900 2 Units 11,800
Vegetables (greens) 2,600 7.5 Kgs 19,500
Tomato 3,200 4 Kgs 12,800
Onion 4,200 4 Kgs 16,800
Milk (fresh) 7,800 1 x 2 litres 7,800
Cooking oil 15,500 2 x 2 litres 31,000
Bread 3,200 1 loaf/day 96,000
Sugar 4,700 8 Kgs 37,600
Salt 2,800 1 Kg 2,800
Tea (Katiyo) 10,000 1 x 500 g 10,000
Sub-total 538,900

(B) COST OF ESSENTIAL NON-FOOD ITEMS

Charcoal (50 Kg / 90 Kg bag) 180 Kgs 85,000


Soap (Lifebuoy) 1,500 10 tablets 15,000
Wash soap (Boom) 3,000 4 x 400 g 12,000
Jelly (e.g., Vaseline) 6,000 1 x 500 ml 6,000
Electricity 100,000 100,000
Water (medium density) 70,000 70,000
Housing (3 bedroom) 425,000 425,000
Sub-total 713,000
Total for Basic Needs Basket 1,251,900
Totals for previous
months: 2005 Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Amount 1,108,750 1,134,100 1,091,900 1,144,100 1,146,300 1,168,300 1,181,800 1,189,250 1,176,600 1,177,850 1,206,750 1,215,750

(C) SOME OTHER ADDITIONAL COSTS


Item Kwacha
Education (PTA per year)
Basic (grades 1-7) K5,000-K30,000
Basic (grades 8-97) K30,000-K65,000
Secondary (grades 10-12) K65,000-K192,000
Health (consultation fee) K6,000
Transport (bus fare round trip):
Dambwa-Town K6,000
Marambwa-Town K6,000
Victoria Falls-Town K4,000
Please note that other costs would include personal care, clothing, recreation, etc.

(D) A COMPARISON OF COSTS OF BASIC NEEDS ACROSS ZAMBIA IN JANUARY

Lusaka Ndola Kitwe Luanshya Kabwe


K1,415,650 K1,160,720 K1,054,640 K922,290 K917,140
th st
This survey was conducted on 30 to 31 January 2005 by the Social Conditions Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for
Theological Reflection. Average prices were calculated on the basis of surveys conducted at Town Centre Market, Dambwa
Market, Maramba Market, Mbita Market, Elaine Brittel Market and Town Centre Shoprite. Additional information was obtained
from ZESCO, the Livingstone Water and Sewerage Company and schools, clinics and houses around Livingstone.

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774, 10101 Lusaka, Zambia
Tel: 260-1-290-410 Fax: 260-1-290-759 E-mail: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm Internet: www.jctr.org.zm
Location: Luwisha House, Plot 5880 Great East Road (opposite UNZA main gate), Lusaka
JCTR BASIC NEEDS BASKET: NDOLA
January 2006
(A) COST OF BASIC FOOD ITEMS FOR A FAMILY OF SIX IN NDOLA

Commodity Kwacha Quantity Total


Mealie meal (breakfast) 39,400 3 x 25 Kg bags 118,200
Beans 6,900 2 Kgs 13,800
Kapenta (Mpulungu) 35,400 2 Kgs 70,800
Dry Fish 57,500 1 Kg 57,500
Meat (mixed cut) 16,400 4 Kgs 65,600
Eggs 5,400 2 Units 10,800
Vegetables (greens) 2,000 7.5 Kgs 15,000
Tomato 3,600 4 Kgs 14,400
Onion 4,800 4 Kgs 19,200
Milk (long-life) 2,700 4 x 500 ml 10,800
Cooking oil (2.5 litre bottle) 19,000 4 litres 30,400
Bread 2,700 1 loaf/day 81,000
Sugar 4,500 8 Kgs 36,000
Salt 2,400 1 Kg 2,400
Tea (Tips) 2,800 4 x 125 g 11,200
Sub-total 557,100
(B) COST OF ESSENTIAL NON-FOOD ITEMS

Charcoal (25 Kg bag) 15,100 180 Kgs 108,720


Soap (Lifebuoy) 1,300 10 tablets 13,000
Wash soap (Boom) 2,800 4 x 400 g 11,200
Jelly (e.g., Vaseline) 5,700 1 x 500 ml 5,700
Electricity (medium density) 55,000 55,000
Water (medium density) 35,000 35,000
Housing (3 bedroom) 375,000 375,000
Sub-total 603,620
Total for Basic Needs Basket 1,160,720
Totals for previous
months: 2005 Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Amount 988,280 1,013,530 989,230 1,068.460 1,097,860 1,112,380 1,142,030 1,118,440 1,146,330 1,163,350 1,130,380 1,162,370

(C) SOME OTHER ADDITIONAL COSTS


Item Kwacha Item Kwacha
Education (PTA/user fee per year) Transport (bus fare round trip):
Basic (grades 1-7) K50,000 Ndeke-Town K2,800
Basic (grades 8-9) K200,000-K240,000 Chifubu-Town K3,200
School Uniform (Basic) K190,000 Masala-Town K3,000
School Uniform (Secondary) K250,000 Mushili-Town K3,000
Health (clinic / hospital fee)
Monthly Scheme (per person) K1,000
Please note that other costs would include personal care, clothing, recreation, etc.

(D) A COMPARISON OF COSTS OF BASIC NEEDS ACROSS ZAMBIA IN JANUARY

Lusaka Livingstone Kitwe Luanshya Kabwe


K1,415,650 K1,251,900 K1,054,640 K922,290 K917,140
th
This survey was conducted on 29 January 2006 by the Social Conditions Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological
Reflection. Average prices were calculated on the basis of surveys conducted at Masala Market, Mushili Market, Lubuto Market,
Chifubu Market and Town Centre Shoprite. Additional information was obtained from ZESCO, the Kufubu Water and Sewerage
Company and schools, clinics and houses around Ndola.

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774, 10101 Lusaka, Zambia
Tel: 260-1-290-410 Fax: 260-1-290-759 E-mail: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm Internet: www.jctr.org.zm
Location: Luwisha House, Plot 5880 Great East Road (opposite UNZA main gate), Lusaka
JCTR BASIC NEEDS BASKET: KITWE
January 2006
(A) COST OF BASIC FOOD ITEMS FOR A FAMILY OF SIX IN KITWE

Commodity Kwacha Quantity Total


Mealie meal (breakfast) 41,400 3 x 25 Kg bags 124,200
Beans 4,000 2 Kgs 8,000
Kapenta (Mpulungu) 28,800 2 Kgs 57,600
Dry Fish 28,300 1 Kg 28,300
Meat (mixed cut) 14,300 4 Kgs 57,200
Eggs 5,400 2 Units 10,800
Vegetables (greens) 2,000 7.5 Kgs 15,000
Tomato 4,000 4 Kgs 16,000
Onion 5,200 4 Kgs 20,800
Milk (long-life) 2,600 4 x 500 ml 10,400
Cooking oil (2.5 litre bottle) 17,900 4 litres 28,640
Bread 2,700 1 loaf/day 81,000
Sugar 4,500 8 Kgs 36,000
Salt 1,900 1 Kg 1,900
Tea (Kawambwa) 7,700 1 x 500 g 7,700
Sub-total 503,540

(B) COST OF ESSENTIAL NON-FOOD ITEMS

Charcoal 35,000 2 x 90 Kgs 70,000


Soap (Lifebuoy) 1,200 10 tablets 12,000
Wash soap (Boom) 2,900 4 x 400 g 11,600
Jelly (e.g., Vaseline) 6,500 1 x 500 ml 6,500
Electricity (medium density) 64,000 64,000
Water (medium density) 37,000 37,000
Housing (3 bedroom) 350,000 350,000
Sub-total 551,100
Total for Basic Needs Basket 1,054,640
Totals for previous
months: 2005 Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Amount 973,910 950,510 997,310 996,310 1,012,390 1,027,150 1,042,990 1,048,890 1,058,590 1,040,140 1,048,080 1,048,540

(C) SOME OTHER ADDITIONAL COSTS


Item Kwacha
Education (PTA + user fee per year)
Basic (grades 8-9) K120,000-K180,000
Health (Central Hospital: annual scheme per person) K8,000
Transport (bus fare round trip):
Chamboli-Town K3,200
Ndeke-Town K3,200
Chimwemwe-Town K3,200
Garnertone-Town K6,200

Please note that other costs would include personal care, clothing, recreation, etc.

(D) A COMPARISON OF COSTS OF BASIC NEEDS ACROSS ZAMBIA IN JANUARY

Lusaka Ndola Livingstone Luanshya Kabwe


K1,415,650 K1,160,720 K1,251,900 K922,290 K917,140
th st
This survey was conducted on 30 to 31 January 2006 by the Social Conditions Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for
Theological Reflection. Average prices were calculated on the basis of surveys conducted at Chamboli Market, Nakadoli Market,
Chimwemwe Market, Chisokone Market and Town Centre Shoprite. Additional information was obtained from ZESCO, the
Nkana Water and Sewerage Company and schools, clinics and houses around Kitwe.

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774, 10101 Lusaka, Zambia
Tel: 260-1-290-410 Fax: 260-1-290-759 E-mail: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm Internet: www.jctr.org.zm
Location: Luwisha House, Plot 5880 Great East Road (opposite UNZA main gate), Lusaka
JCTR BASIC NEEDS BASKET: LUANSHYA
January 2006
(A) COST OF BASIC FOOD ITEMS FOR A FAMILY OF SIX IN LUANSHYA

Commodity Kwacha Quantity Total


Mealie meal (breakfast) 42,200 3 x 25 Kg bags 126,600
Beans 6,000 2 Kgs 12,000
Kapenta (Mpulungu) 38,500 2 Kgs 77,000
Dry Fish 31,300 1 Kg 31,300
Meat (mixed cut) 13,600 4 Kgs 54,400
Eggs 5,300 2 Units 10,600
Vegetables (greens) 1,500 7.5 Kgs 11,250
Tomato 3,800 4 Kgs 15,200
Onion 4,400 4 Kgs 17,600
Milk (long-life) 2,600 4 x 500 ml 10,400
Cooking oil (2.5 litre bottle) 17,400 4 litres 27,840
Bread 2,400 1 loaf/day 72,000
Sugar 4,500 8 Kgs 36,000
Salt 1,800 1 Kg 1,800
Tea (Kawambwa) 1,800 5 x 100 g 9,000
Sub-total 512,990

(B) COST OF ESSENTIAL NON-FOOD ITEMS

Charcoal (25 Kg bag) 10,800 180 Kgs 77,760


Soap (Lifebuoy) 1,200 10 tablets 12,000
Wash soap (Boom) 2,700 4 x 400 g 10,800
Jelly (e.g. Vaseline) 5,900 1 x 500 ml 5,900
Electricity (medium density) 66,000 66,000
Water (medium density) 61,840 61,840
Housing (3 bedroom) 175,000 175,000
Sub-total 409,300
Total for Basic Needs Basket 922,290
Totals for previous
months: 2005 Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Amount 838,410 806,380 804,990 852,390 878,420 878,440 889,120 894,270 872,620 883,330 893,480 917,870

(C) SOME OTHER ADDITIONAL COSTS


Item Kwacha
Education (PTA / user fee per year)
Basic (grades 1-7) K10,000-K20,000
Basic (grades 8-9) K110,000-K120,000
Health (consultation fee) K1,000
Transport (bus fare round trip):
Mpatamatu-Town K6,000
Roan-Kalala K5,600
Roan-Town K3,000
Please note that other costs would include personal care, clothing, recreation, etc.

(D) A COMPARISON OF COSTS OF BASIC NEEDS ACROSS ZAMBIA IN JANUARY

Lusaka Ndola Kitwe Livingstone Kabwe


K1,415,650 K1,160,720 K1,054,640 K1,251,900 K917,140
th st
This survey was conducted on 28 to 31 January 2006 by the Social Conditions Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for
Theological Reflection. Average prices were calculated on the basis of surveys conducted at Mpatamatu Market, Buseko Market,
Roan Market, Mikomfwa Market and Town Centre Shoprite. Additional information was obtained from ZESCO, the AHC Water
and Sewerage Company and schools, clinics and houses around Luanshya.

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774, 10101 Lusaka, Zambia
Tel: 260-1-290-410 Fax: 260-1-290-759 E-mail: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm Internet: www.jctr.org.zm
Location: Luwisha House, Plot 5880 Great East Road (opposite UNZA main gate), Lusaka
JCTR BASIC NEEDS BASKET: KABWE
January 2006
(A) COST OF BASIC FOOD ITEMS FOR A FAMILY OF SIX IN KABWE

Commodity Kwacha Quantity Total


Mealie meal (breakfast) 39,400 3 x 25 Kg bags 118,200
Beans 5,300 2 Kgs 10,600
Kapenta (Siavonga) 30,000 2 Kgs 60,000
Dry Fish 17,000 1 Kg 17,000
Meat (mixed cut) 12,400 4 Kgs 49,600
Eggs 5,000 2 Units 10,000
Vegetables (greens) 1,000 7.5 Kgs 7,500
Tomato 1,800 4 Kgs 7,200
Onion 2,500 4 Kgs 10,000
Milk (long-life) 2,500 4 x 500 ml 10,000
Cooking oil (2.5 litre bottle) 16,100 4 litres 25,760
Bread 2,400 1 loaf/day 72,000
Sugar 4,500 8 Kgs 36,000
Salt 1,900 1 Kg 1,900
Tea (Tips) 9,000 1 x 500 g 9,000
Sub-total 444,760

(B) COST OF ESSENTIAL NON-FOOD ITEMS

Charcoal (50 Kg bag) 12,300 180 Kgs 44,280


Soap (Lifebuoy) 1,200 10 tablets 12,000
Wash soap (Boom) 2,700 4 x 400 g 10,800
Jelly (e.g., Vaseline) 5,300 1 x 500 ml 5,300
Electricity (medium density) 70,000 70,000
Water (medium density) 30,000 30,000
Housing (3 bedroom) 300,000 300,000
Sub-total 472,380
Total for Basic Needs Basket 917,140
Totals for previous
months: 2005 Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sep
Amount 842,900 859,530 874,750 969,780 995,420 968,630 981,410 991,300 993,120

(C) SOME OTHER ADDITIONAL COSTS


Item Kwacha
Education (PTA + user fee per year)
Basic (grades 8-9) K150,000
Health (hospital clinics daily fee) K5,000
Transport (bus fare round trip):
Lukanga-Town K2,400
Ngungu-Town K2,800
Mine Township-Town K2,800

Please note that other costs would include personal care, clothing, recreation, etc.

(D) A COMPARISON OF LIVING COSTS ACROSS ZAMBIA IN JANUARY

Lusaka Ndola Kitwe Luanshya Livingstone


K1,415,650 K1,160,720 K1,054,640 K922,290 K1,251,900
st
This survey was conducted on 31 January 2006 by the Social Conditions Research Project of the Jesuit Centre for Theological
Reflection. Average prices were calculated on the basis of surveys conducted at Kamanda Market, Katondo Market, Nakoli
Market, Lukanga Market and Town Centre Shoprite. Additional information was obtained from ZESCO, the Akana Water and
Sewerage Company and schools, clinics and houses around Kabwe.

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, P.O. Box 37774, 10101 Lusaka, Zambia
Tel: 260-1-290-410 Fax: 260-1-290-759 E-mail: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm Internet: www.jctr.org.zm
Location: Luwisha House, Plot 5880 Great East Road (opposite UNZA main gate), Lusaka
Appendix C: Data and Analysis

• 1991-2001 Lusaka Food Basket Data and Graphs

• 1997-2005 Lusaka Food Basket Data and Analysis

• 2002-2005 Lusaka Basic Needs Basket Data and Analysis

• 2005 Lusaka Basic Needs Basket Data and Analysis

• 2005 Comparison of Expanded Urban Basic Needs


Baskets

• 2005 Livingstone Basic Needs Basket Data and Graphs

• 2005 Ndola Basic Needs Basket Data and Graphs

• 2005 Kitwe Basic Needs Basket Data and Graphs

• 2005 Luanshya Basic Needs Basket Data and Graphs

• 2005 Kabwe Basic Needs Basket Data and Graphs


JCTR Food Basket (1991-2001): The Cost of Basic Items for a Family of Six Living in Lusaka

Average Mealie Cooking Meat Soap Wash-Soap


Food Basket Market Food Basket Meal Charcoal Oil Vegetables (Brisket) Eggs Bread Sugar Salt Tea (Geisha) (Surf) Vaseline
Total Exchange Total 3 x (25 kg 2 x (90 kg 2 x (2.5 4 units 2 x (250
(Kwacha) Rate* (US$) bags) bags) litres) 30 days 8 kgs (40 eggs) 30 loafs 8 kgs 1 kg g) 6 tablets 4 x (500 g) 2 x (100 g)
Mar-91 6,375 73.53 86.70
Apr-91 6,365 76.92 82.75
Jan-93 31,075
Apr-93 49,360
Jun-94 104,800 688.16 152.29
Jul-94 104,800 687.73 152.39
Aug-94 102,744 681.13 150.84
Dec-94 137,566 694.47 198.09
Mar-95 145,280 810.81 179.18
Apr-95 146,125 816.39 178.99
Sep-95 153,100 945.75 161.88
Oct-95 158,237 945.39 167.38
Nov-95 165,237 944.43 174.96
Dec-95 161,786 944.56 171.28
Jan-96 170,592 991.50 172.05
Feb-96 185,580 1,043.05 177.92
Mar-96 188,163 1,143.91 164.49
Apr-96 192,420 1,242.64 154.85
May-96 184,172 1,240.51 148.46
Jun-96 182,750 1,251.34 146.04
Jul-96 176,660 1,269.61 139.15
Aug-96 179,548 1,270.29 141.34
Sep-96 175,540 1,268.49 138.39
Oct-96 179,980 1,272.26 141.46
Nov-96 177,620 1,276.31 139.17
Dec-96 189,260 1,288.26 146.91
Jan-97 197,700 1,292.10 153.01 30,000 17,000 12,800 57,000 27,200 7,800 21,000 8,000 500 3,340 4,860 6,900 1,300
Feb-97 194,200 1,296.26 149.82 30,000 16,000 11,000 57,000 28,000 7,200 21,000 8,000 500 2,800 4,500 6,900 1,300
Mar-97 197,100 1,297.56 151.90 30,000 14,000 12,000 57,000 32,000 7,200 21,000 8,000 500 2,600 4,500 6,900 1,400
Apr-97 195,700 1,297.02 150.88 30,000 13,000 13,200 57,000 28,000 6,400 21,000 11,200 500 2,600 4,500 6,900 1,400
May-97 192,000 1,298.96 147.81 30,000 13,000 12,000 57,000 28,000 6,000 21,000 9,200 500 2,800 4,500 6,600 1,400
Jun-97 175,500 1,306.73 134.30 30,000 13,000 15,000 36,000 28,000 6,000 22,500 9,200 500 3,000 4,500 6,400 1,400
Jul-97 176,000 1,318.56 133.48 30,000 13,000 15,000 36,000 27,200 6,000 22,500 10,800 500 3,000 4,500 6,100 1,400
Aug-97 172,800 1,320.60 130.85 30,000 13,000 15,000 36,000 25,600 6,000 21,000 10,800 500 3,000 4,500 6,000 1,400
Sep-97 174,350 1,322.03 131.88 33,000 10,000 13,450 36,000 28,000 6,400 21,000 10,800 500 3,000 4,800 6,000 1,400
Oct-97 179,600 1,331.26 134.91 39,000 10,000 13,450 36,000 28,000 5,600 21,000 10,800 550 3,000 4,800 6,000 1,400
Nov-97 182,800 1,363.44 134.07 43,500 10,000 13,050 36,000 26,400 6,000 21,000 10,800 550 3,000 5,100 6,000 1,400
Dec-97 183,450 1,403.49 130.71 45,000 10,000 13,000 36,000 26,400 6,000 21,000 10,000 550 3,000 5,100 6,000 1,400
Jan-98 186,950 1,467.52 127.39 46,500 13,000 14,000 36,000 26,400 6,000 21,000 8,000 550 3,000 5,100 6,000 1,400
Feb-98 190,350 1,549.54 122.84 48,000 13,000 14,000 36,000 28,000 6,000 21,000 8,000 550 3,000 5,400 6,000 1,400
Mar-98 194,550 1,664.47 116.88 51,000 13,000 14,000 36,000 28,800 6,000 21,000 8,000 550 3,000 5,400 6,400 1,400
Apr-98 197,550 1,767.47 111.77 51,000 13,000 14,000 36,000 28,800 6,000 24,000 8,000 550 3,000 5,400 6,400 1,400
May-98 198,200 1,854.28 106.89 49,500 13,000 17,000 36,000 28,000 6,000 24,000 8,000 500 3,000 5,400 6,400 1,400
Jun-98 201,200 1,915.73 105.03 49,500 12,000 18,000 36,000 28,000 6,400 24,000 10,000 500 3,000 6,000 6,400 1,400
Jul-98 206,150 1,942.65 106.12 49,500 12,000 20,000 36,000 27,200 6,800 24,000 10,000 650 6,000 6,000 6,400 1,600
Aug-98 215,350 1,948.94 110.50 49,800 13,000 22,000 36,000 28,800 7,200 24,000 10,000 650 8,600 6,600 7,000 1,700
Sep-98 218,800 1,966.35 111.27 49,500 13,000 22,000 36,000 31,200 7,200 24,000 10,000 700 9,000 7,200 7,200 1,800
Oct-98 218,520 2,025.37 107.89 47,250 13,000 22,000 36,000 31,600 7,000 25,200 10,000 750 9,840 6,600 7,480 1,800
Nov-98 220,380 2,126.95 103.61 50,700 12,000 22,000 36,000 31,680 7,200 25,500 9,200 900 9,400 6,600 7,400 1,800
Dec-98 230,920 2,305.52 100.16 56,400 12,000 22,100 39,000 32,800 7,200 25,500 9,600 800 10,120 6,000 7,600 1,800
Jan-99 240,920 2,423.19 99.42 58,350 13,000 25,360 42,000 30,400 8,240 27,000 9,720 830 10,500 6,120 7,600 1,800
Feb-99 244,810 2,323.23 105.37 58,440 13,000 27,400 42,000 30,560 8,400 28,500 9,760 830 10,400 6,120 7,600 1,800
Mar-99 252,160 2,269.34 111.12 59,370 14,000 27,640 45,000 30,800 8,000 28,500 9,920 830 10,500 6,600 9,200 1,800
Apr-99 252,740 2,374.23 106.45 57,960 14,000 27,640 45,000 31,040 7,600 29,250 9,920 810 11,000 6,120 10,600 1,800
May-99 251,770 2,434.83 103.40 57,990 14,000 27,170 45,000 31,520 7,840 29,400 10,120 750 11,000 6,300 8,880 1,800
Jun-99 251,890 2,463.67 102.24 55,830 14,000 27,170 45,000 31,760 8,200 30,000 10,160 650 11,120 6,840 9,160 2,000
Jul-99 250,660 2,470.76 101.45 52,710 15,660 25,580 45,000 32,400 8,320 30,000 10,760 650 11,380 6,840 9,160 2,200
Aug-99 243,100 2,435.52 99.81 46,260 15,660 24,780 45,000 32,800 9,160 30,000 10,120 750 11,450 6,660 8,540 1,920
Sep-99 239,840 2,416.23 99.26 46,020 14,820 22,380 45,000 33,200 9,040 30,000 10,720 720 11,140 6,420 8,520 1,860
Oct-99 242,790 2,435.61 99.68 47,430 14,400 22,780 45,000 34,000 9,000 31,500 10,560 700 10,880 6,180 8,560 1,800
Nov-99 241,480 2,489.37 97.00 47,700 14,400 22,120 45,000 35,200 8,600 30,600 10,720 780 10,820 6,060 7,680 1,800
Dec-99 257,480 2,634.78 97.72 51,900 15,200 21,360 45,000 45,360 9,000 30,300 10,640 700 10,820 6,600 8,800 1,800
Jan-00 263,370 2,694.21 97.75 54,810 15,600 21,120 45,000 47,920 8,480 30,000 11,280 660 10,700 6,900 9,000 1,900
Feb-00 265,320 2,773.49 95.66 56,400 15,800 21,120 45,000 44,720 8,240 30,000 11,480 600 12,940 7,380 9,800 1,840
Mar-00 272,810 2,785.82 97.93 58,740 14,900 22,360 45,000 45,040 8,480 34,500 11,560 550 13,120 7,140 9,600 1,820
Apr-00 273,790 2,840.51 96.39 60,180 14,450 22,360 45,000 45,120 8,480 34,500 11,960 520 12,840 7,080 9,500 1,800
May-00 269,920 2,892.10 93.33 57,600 14,450 22,690 45,000 44,160 9,200 31,800 12,060 520 13,090 7,230 10,360 1,760
Jun-00 277,870 2,969.98 93.56 56,040 20,000 22,000 45,000 43,600 10,400 33,000 12,400 750 13,380 7,380 11,520 2,400
Jul-00 277,475 3,112.25 89.16 53,940 20,000 20,000 45,000 44,040 9,720 33,000 14,160 775 14,310 8,250 11,680 2,600
Aug-00 272,305 3,237.69 84.10 51,900 20,000 20,000 45,000 45,600 9,000 33,000 13,760 725 12,100 8,220 10,400 2,600
Sep-00 278,375 3,272.41 85.07 52,275 20,000 20,000 45,000 44,800 9,200 33,000 14,200 800 13,300 9,000 14,800 2,000
Oct-00 290,310 3,381.38 85.86 52,290 20,000 21,600 45,000 46,400 9,200 39,000 15,920 1,000 13,900 9,600 14,400 2,000
Nov-00 290,595 3,654.95 79.51 49,875 20,000 23,320 45,000 46,400 10,000 40,500 15,840 800 13,200 8,700 14,960 2,000
Dec-00 312,695 4,148.78 75.37 48,075 20,000 26,800 45,000 49,920 11,000 42,000 17,040 1,300 20,760 9,600 19,200 2,000
Jan-01 319,870 4,031.22 79.35 53,850 20,000 25,800 45,000 53,120 12,000 42,000 17,600 1,000 17,500 10,800 15,800 5,400
Feb-01 328,080 3,615.30 90.75 54,000 26,000 26,400 45,000 54,720 12,000 42,000 17,760 1,100 17,500 10,200 16,800 4,600
Mar-01 335,300 3,373.57 99.39 53,700 38,000 24,000 45,000 56,400 10,600 42,000 17,600 900 15,300 10,200 17,200 4,400
Apr-01 340,720 3,100.68 109.89 54,000 39,000 25,900 45,000 57,120 10,400 42,000 17,600 1,300 17,500 9,900 16,800 4,200
May-01 329,400 3,308.21 99.57 51,900 35,000 24,000 45,000 59,200 10,600 39,000 18,000 1,100 15,000 9,000 17,600 4,000
Jun-01 328,570 3,599.19 91.29 52,350 34,000 24,000 45,000 56,320 10,600 42,000 19,200 1,100 14,800 8,400 17,600 3,200
Jul-01 332,520 3,699.90 89.87 61,050 30,000 23,200 45,000 56,800 11,400 43,500 17,800 970 14,000 7,800 16,800 4,200
Aug-01 348,500 3,592.90 97.00 72,300 28,600 24,400 45,000 60,000 12,000 42,000 17,800 1,000 12,600 9,600 18,000 5,200
Sep-01 357,300 3,683.39 97.00 72,900 28,000 25,200 45,000 63,200 12,000 45,000 17,600 1,000 12,800 9,600 20,000 5,000
Oct-01 358,400 3,747.48 95.64 75,000 26,000 26,000 45,000 64,000 12,000 45,000 17,800 1,000 13,800 9,600 20,000 3,200
Nov-01 377,300 3,825.34 98.63 87,300 24,000 26,200 45,000 68,800 12,000 45,000 18,400 1,000 12,600 10,200 22,000 4,800
Dec-01 379,390 3,857.60 98.35 86,190 26,000 26,600 45,000 72,000 12,800 45,000 18,800 1,000 11,600 9,600 20,000 4,800
*Monthly Average Market Exchange Rates collected from the Bank of Zambia's record of Commercial Banks' Weighted Retail Average mid-rates from 1991 to 2001

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
Kwacha Cost of Basic Items in Lusaka (1991-2001)
(Based Upon the JCTR Food Basket for a Family of Six)

400,000

350,000

300,000

250,000
Kwacha

200,000

150,000

100,000

50,000

0
Jan-91 Jan-92 Jan-93 Jan-94 Jan-95 Jan-96 Jan-97 Jan-98 Jan-99 Jan-00 Jan-01
Month
US$ Cost of Basic Items in Lusaka (1991-2001)
(Based Upon the JCTR Food Basket for a Family of Six)

210
200
190
180
170
160
150
140
130
120
110
US $

100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
Jan-91 Jan-92 Jan-93 Jan-94 Jan-95 Jan-96 Jan-97 Jan-98 Jan-99 Jan-00 Jan-01
Month
Cost of Basic Food Items in Lusaka: (1997-2005)*
Based Upon the JCTR Food Basket from 1997-2001 and the JCTR Basic Needs Basket from 2002-Present

Food Basket Soap Wash-Soap JCTR Average Market JCTR Food Mealie Meal (3 Mealie Meal Mealie Meal
Total Charcoal (Geisha) (Surf) Vaseline Food Basket Exchange Rate** Basket (US $) x 25 Kg Bags) (25 Kgs) (25 Kgs) (US$)
Jan-97 197,700 17,000 4,860 6,900 1,300 167,640 1,292.10 129.74 30,000 10,000 7.74
Feb-97 194,200 16,000 4,500 6,900 1,300 165,500 1,296.26 127.68 30,000 10,000 7.71
Mar-97 197,100 14,000 4,500 6,900 1,400 170,300 1,297.56 131.25 30,000 10,000 7.71
Apr-97 195,700 13,000 4,500 6,900 1,400 169,900 1,297.02 130.99 30,000 10,000 7.71
May-97 192,000 13,000 4,500 6,600 1,400 166,500 1,298.96 128.18 30,000 10,000 7.70
Jun-97 175,500 13,000 4,500 6,400 1,400 150,200 1,306.73 114.94 30,000 10,000 7.65
Jul-97 176,000 13,000 4,500 6,100 1,400 151,000 1,318.56 114.52 30,000 10,000 7.58
Aug-97 172,800 13,000 4,500 6,000 1,400 147,900 1,320.60 111.99 30,000 10,000 7.57
Sep-97 174,350 10,000 4,800 6,000 1,400 152,150 1,322.03 115.09 33,000 11,000 8.32
Oct-97 179,600 10,000 4,800 6,000 1,400 157,400 1,331.26 118.23 39,000 13,000 9.77
Nov-97 182,800 10,000 5,100 6,000 1,400 160,300 1,363.44 117.57 43,500 14,500 10.63
Dec-97 183,450 10,000 5,100 6,000 1,400 160,950 1,403.49 114.68 45,000 15,000 10.69
Jan-98 186,950 13,000 5,100 6,000 1,400 161,450 1,467.52 110.02 46,500 15,500 10.56
Feb-98 190,350 13,000 5,400 6,000 1,400 164,550 1,549.54 106.19 48,000 16,000 10.33
Mar-98 194,550 13,000 5,400 6,400 1,400 168,350 1,664.47 101.14 51,000 17,000 10.21
Apr-98 197,550 13,000 5,400 6,400 1,400 171,350 1,767.47 96.95 51,000 17,000 9.62
May-98 198,200 13,000 5,400 6,400 1,400 172,000 1,854.28 92.76 49,500 16,500 8.90
Jun-98 201,200 12,000 6,000 6,400 1,400 175,400 1,915.73 91.56 49,500 16,500 8.61
Jul-98 206,150 12,000 6,000 6,400 1,600 180,150 1,942.65 92.73 49,500 16,500 8.49
Aug-98 215,350 13,000 6,600 7,000 1,700 187,050 1,948.94 95.98 49,800 16,600 8.52
Sep-98 218,800 13,000 7,200 7,200 1,800 189,600 1,966.35 96.42 49,500 16,500 8.39
Oct-98 218,520 13,000 6,600 7,480 1,800 189,640 2,025.37 93.63 47,250 15,750 7.78
Nov-98 220,380 12,000 6,600 7,400 1,800 192,580 2,126.95 90.54 50,700 16,900 7.95
Dec-98 230,920 12,000 6,000 7,600 1,800 203,520 2,305.52 88.28 56,400 18,800 8.15
Jan-99 240,920 13,000 6,120 7,600 1,800 212,400 2,423.19 87.65 58,350 19,450 8.03
Feb-99 244,810 13,000 6,120 7,600 1,800 216,290 2,323.23 93.10 58,440 19,480 8.38
Mar-99 252,160 14,000 6,600 9,200 1,800 220,560 2,269.34 97.19 59,370 19,790 8.72
Apr-99 252,740 14,000 6,120 10,600 1,800 220,220 2,374.23 92.75 57,960 19,320 8.14
May-99 251,770 14,000 6,300 8,880 1,800 220,790 2,434.83 90.68 57,990 19,330 7.94
Jun-99 251,890 14,000 6,840 9,160 2,000 219,890 2,463.67 89.25 55,830 18,610 7.55
Jul-99 250,660 15,660 6,840 9,160 2,200 216,800 2,470.76 87.75 52,710 17,570 7.11
Aug-99 243,100 15,660 6,660 8,540 1,920 210,320 2,435.52 86.36 46,260 15,420 6.33
Sep-99 239,840 14,820 6,420 8,520 1,860 208,220 2,416.23 86.18 46,020 15,340 6.35
Oct-99 242,790 14,400 6,180 8,560 1,800 211,850 2,435.61 86.98 47,430 15,810 6.49
Nov-99 241,480 14,400 6,060 7,680 1,800 211,540 2,489.37 84.98 47,700 15,900 6.39
Dec-99 257,480 15,200 6,600 8,800 1,800 225,080 2,634.78 85.43 51,900 17,300 6.57
Jan-00 263,370 15,600 6,900 9,000 1,900 229,970 2,694.21 85.36 54,810 18,270 6.78
Feb-00 265,320 15,800 7,380 9,800 1,840 230,500 2,773.49 83.11 56,400 18,800 6.78
Mar-00 272,810 14,900 7,140 9,600 1,820 239,350 2,785.82 85.92 58,740 19,580 7.03
Apr-00 273,790 14,450 7,080 9,500 1,800 240,960 2,840.51 84.83 60,180 20,060 7.06
May-00 269,920 14,450 7,230 10,360 1,760 236,120 2,892.10 81.64 57,600 19,200 6.64
Jun-00 277,870 20,000 7,380 11,520 2,400 236,570 2,969.98 79.65 56,040 18,680 6.29
Jul-00 277,475 20,000 8,250 11,680 2,600 234,945 3,112.25 75.49 53,940 17,980 5.78
Aug-00 272,305 20,000 8,220 10,400 2,600 231,085 3,237.69 71.37 51,900 17,300 5.34
Sep-00 278,375 20,000 9,000 14,800 2,000 232,575 3,272.41 71.07 52,275 17,425 5.32
Oct-00 290,310 20,000 9,600 14,400 2,000 244,310 3,381.38 72.25 52,290 17,430 5.15
Nov-00 290,595 20,000 8,700 14,960 2,000 244,935 3,654.95 67.01 49,875 16,625 4.55
Dec-00 312,695 20,000 9,600 19,200 2,000 261,895 4,148.78 63.13 48,075 16,025 3.86
Jan-01 319,870 20,000 10,800 15,800 5,400 267,870 4,031.22 66.45 53,850 17,950 4.45
Feb-01 328,080 26,000 10,200 16,800 4,600 270,480 3,615.30 74.82 54,000 18,000 4.98
Mar-01 335,300 38,000 10,200 17,200 4,400 265,500 3,373.57 78.70 53,700 17,900 5.31
Apr-01 340,720 39,000 9,900 16,800 4,200 270,820 3,100.68 87.34 54,000 18,000 5.81
May-01 329,400 35,000 9,000 17,600 4,000 263,800 3,308.21 79.74 51,900 17,300 5.23
Jun-01 328,570 34,000 8,400 17,600 3,200 265,370 3,599.19 73.73 52,350 17,450 4.85
Jul-01 332,520 30,000 7,800 16,800 4,200 273,720 3,699.90 73.98 61,050 20,350 5.50
Aug-01 348,500 28,600 9,600 18,000 5,200 287,100 3,592.90 79.91 72,300 24,100 6.71
Sep-01 357,300 28,000 9,600 20,000 5,000 294,700 3,683.39 80.01 72,900 24,300 6.60
Oct-01 358,400 26,000 9,600 20,000 3,200 299,600 3,747.48 79.95 75,000 25,000 6.67
Nov-01 377,300 24,000 10,200 22,000 4,800 316,300 3,825.34 82.69 87,300 29,100 7.61
Dec-01 379,390 26,000 9,600 20,000 4,800 318,990 3,857.60 82.69 86,190 28,730 7.45
Jan-02 324,650 3,964.81 81.88 108,000 36,000 9.08
Feb-02 324,510 4,111.56 78.93 108,900 36,300 8.83
Mar-02 327,300 4,217.45 77.61 108,600 36,200 8.58
Apr-02 326,300 4,075.95 80.05 102,600 34,200 8.39
May-02 317,150 4,179.89 75.88 97,200 32,400 7.75
Jun-02 330,350 4,416.45 74.80 103,500 34,500 7.81
Jul-02 334,250 4,504.53 74.20 108,000 36,000 7.99
Aug-02 324,500 4,497.23 72.16 108,600 36,200 8.05
Sep-02 326,500 4,493.15 72.67 108,000 36,000 8.01
Oct-02 339,150 4,575.48 74.12 108,600 36,200 7.91
Nov-02 357,000 4,783.78 74.63 118,800 39,600 8.28
Dec-02 380,150 4,797.42 79.24 135,000 45,000 9.38
Jan-03 401,050 4,535.33 88.43 129,000 43,000 9.48
Feb-03 402,800 4,970.25 81.04 136,800 45,600 9.17
Mar-03 400,050 4,891.55 81.78 136,200 45,400 9.28
Apr-03 383,650 4,864.55 78.87 125,400 41,800 8.59
May-03 376,950 4,793.68 78.63 109,500 36,500 7.61
Jun-03 365,400 4,802.21 76.09 91,500 30,500 6.35
Jul-03 357,200 4,792.75 74.53 81,000 27,000 5.63
Aug-03 367,700 4,705.48 78.14 82,800 27,600 5.87
Sep-03 384,450 4,768.00 80.63 84,000 28,000 5.87
Oct-03 390,700 4,758.37 82.11 84,000 28,000 5.88
Nov-03 383,800 4,753.86 80.73 82,500 27,500 5.78
Dec-03 401,800 4,581.08 87.71 83,100 27,700 6.05
Jan-04 409,000 4,765.91 85.82 87,000 29,000 6.08
Feb-04 418,550 4,764.11 87.85 89,700 29,900 6.28
Mar-04 434,000 4,722.67 91.90 90,600 30,200 6.39
Apr-04 450,850 4,735.01 95.22 90,000 30,000 6.34
May-04 456,400 4,754.61 95.99 87,000 29,000 6.10
Jun-04 461,600 4,833.25 95.51 85,800 28,600 5.92
Jul-04 447,000 4,789.53 93.33 84,600 28,200 5.89
Aug-04 442,700 4,791.94 92.38 84,000 28,000 5.84
Sep-04 439,400 4,862.81 90.36 84,600 28,200 5.80
Oct-04 468,600 4,901.21 95.61 85,500 28,500 5.81
Nov-04 456,200 4,804.24 94.96 87,900 29,300 6.10
Dec-04 481,540 4,655.08 103.44 96,600 32,200 6.92
Jan-05 492,940 4,791.29 102.88 99,000 33,000 6.89
Feb-05 484,570 4,761.63 101.77 100,500 33,500 7.04
Mar-05 483,850 4,714.36 102.63 100,500 33,500 7.11
Apr-05 482,820 4,675.18 103.27 99,900 33,300 7.12
May-05 504,430 4,698.99 107.35 103,800 34,600 7.36
Jun-05 504,450 4,696.66 107.41 106,500 35,500 7.56
Jul-05 513,870 4,630.53 110.97 106,800 35,600 7.69
Aug-05 513,590 4,414.01 116.35 121,200 40,400 9.15
Sep-05 506,790 4,448.49 113.92 116,700 38,900 8.74
Oct-05 509,060 4,358.81 116.79 123,000 41,000 9.41
Nov-05 506,150 4,027.39 125.68 127,200 42,400 10.53
Dec-05 512,100 3,428.69 149.36 127,800 42,600 12.42
Jan-06 506,250 3,375.79 149.96 123,300 41,100 12.17

*The above analysis combines data collected using two different methodologies! The Food Basket measured cost of basic commodites from 1997-2001, and the Basic Needs Basket has continued to assess
basic food and non-food costs from 2002 up to the present. To combine the data it was assumed that though the composition of basic food items changed in January 2002, the total cost of 'essential food items'
within the new Basic Needs Basket is approximately the same as the cost of 'food items only' within the Food Basket. As illustrated above, this assumption appears valid because the difference in food costs
between December 02' and January 03' is only 1.8%, which is in line with the inflation trend.
**Monthly Average Market Exchange Rates collected from the BoZ's record of Commercial Banks' Weighted Retail Average Kwacha-US$ mid-rates

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
Kwacha Cost of Basic Food Items in Lusaka: (1997-2005)
(Based Upon the JCTR Food Basket and JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

500,000

400,000
Kwacha

300,000

200,000

100,000
Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan-
97 97 98 98 99 99 00 00 01 01 02 02 03 03 04 04 05 05 06

Month
US$ Cost of Basic Food Items in Lusaka: (1997-2005)
(Based Upon the JCTR Food Basket and JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

170

160

150

140

130

120
US$

110

100

90

80

70

60

50
Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan-
97 97 98 98 99 99 00 00 01 01 02 02 03 03 04 04 05 05 06

Month
Kwacha Cost of 25 Kg Bag of Mealie Meal in Lusaka: (1997-2005)
(From the JCTR Food Basket (1997-2001) and JCTR Basic Needs Basket (2002-2005))

50,000

45,000

40,000

35,000

30,000
Kwacha

25,000

20,000

15,000

10,000

5,000

0
Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan-
97 97 98 98 99 99 00 00 01 01 02 02 03 03 04 04 05 05 06

Month
US$ Cost of 25 Kg Bag of Mealie Meal in Lusaka: (1997-2005)
(From the JCTR Food Basket (1997-2001) and JCTR Basic Needs Basket (2002-2005))

15.00

14.00

13.00

12.00

11.00

10.00

9.00
US$

8.00

7.00

6.00

5.00

4.00

3.00

2.00

1.00

0.00
Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan- Jul- Jan-
97 97 98 98 99 99 00 00 01 01 02 02 03 03 04 04 05 05 06

Month
Cost of Basic Food Items vs. Cost of Diesel in Lusaka: (1997-2005)
(From the JCTR Basket and the Energy Regulation Board's Record of Diesel Prices)

Cost of Basic Cost of Change in Change in


Food Items 1-litre Diesel Cost of Food Cost of 1-litre
Month (Kwacha)* (Kwacha) Items (%) Diesel (%)
Jan-97 167,640 735
Feb-97 165,500 735 -1.3% 0.0%
Mar-97 170,300 735 2.9% 0.0%
Apr-97 169,900 735 -0.2% 0.0%
May-97 166,500 735 -2.0% 0.0%
Jun-97 150,200 915 -9.8% 24.5%
Jul-97 151,000 893 0.5% -2.4%
Aug-97 147,900 893 -2.1% 0.0%
Sep-97 152,150 1,020 2.9% 14.2%
Oct-97 157,400 1,020 3.5% 0.0%
Nov-97 160,300 1,020 1.8% 0.0%
Dec-97 160,950 1,020 0.4% 0.0%
Jan-98 161,450 1,020 0.3% 0.0%
Feb-98 164,550 1,000 1.9% -2.0%
Mar-98 168,350 1,000 2.3% 0.0%
Apr-98 171,350 1,000 1.8% 0.0%
May-98 172,000 1,000 0.4% 0.0%
Jun-98 175,400 1,000 2.0% 0.0%
Jul-98 180,150 1,000 2.7% 0.0%
Aug-98 187,050 1,000 3.8% 0.0%
Sep-98 189,600 1,000 1.4% 0.0%
Oct-98 189,640 1,000 0.0% 0.0%
Nov-98 192,580 1,134 1.6% 13.4%
Dec-98 203,520 1,098 5.7% -3.2%
Jan-99 212,400 1,098 4.4% 0.0%
Feb-99 216,290 1,098 1.8% 0.0%
Mar-99 220,560 1,098 2.0% 0.0%
Apr-99 220,220 1,098 -0.2% 0.0%
May-99 220,790 1,275 0.3% 16.1%
Jun-99 219,890 1,275 -0.4% 0.0%
Jul-99 216,800 1,438 -1.4% 12.8%
Aug-99 210,320 1,438 -3.0% 0.0%
Sep-99 208,220 1,438 -1.0% 0.0%
Oct-99 211,850 1,438 1.7% 0.0%
Nov-99 211,540 1,438 -0.1% 0.0%
Dec-99 225,080 1,735 6.4% 20.7%
Jan-00 229,970 1,735 2.2% 0.0%
Feb-00 230,500 1,735 0.2% 0.0%
Mar-00 239,350 2,092 3.8% 20.6%
Apr-00 240,960 2,092 0.7% 0.0%
May-00 236,120 2,092 -2.0% 0.0%
Jun-00 236,570 2,092 0.2% 0.0%
Jul-00 234,945 2,616 -0.7% 25.0%
Aug-00 231,085 2,616 -1.6% 0.0%
Sep-00 232,575 2,616 0.6% 0.0%
Oct-00 244,310 3,377 5.0% 29.1%
Nov-00 244,935 3,377 0.3% 0.0%
Dec-00 261,895 3,377 6.9% 0.0%
Jan-01 267,870 3,377 2.3% 0.0%
Feb-01 270,480 3,180 1.0% -5.8%
Mar-01 265,500 3,180 -1.8% 0.0%
Apr-01 270,820 3,180 2.0% 0.0%
May-01 263,800 3,377 -2.6% 6.2%
Jun-01 265,370 3,180 0.6% -5.8%
Jul-01 273,720 3,180 3.1% 0.0%
Aug-01 287,100 3,180 4.9% 0.0%
Sep-01 294,700 3,180 2.6% 0.0%
Oct-01 299,600 3,321 1.7% 4.4%
Nov-01 316,300 3,321 5.6% 0.0%
Dec-01 318,990 3,321 0.9% 0.0%
Jan-02 324,650 3,321 1.8% 0.0%
Feb-02 324,510 3,070 0.0% -7.6%
Mar-02 327,300 3,070 0.9% 0.0%
Apr-02 326,300 2,850 -0.3% -7.2%
May-02 317,150 2,845 -2.8% -0.2%
Jun-02 330,350 2,845 4.2% 0.0%
Jul-02 334,250 2,726 1.2% -4.2%
Aug-02 324,500 2,726 -2.9% 0.0%
Sep-02 326,500 2,726 0.6% 0.0%
Oct-02 339,150 2,778 3.9% 1.9%
Nov-02 357,000 2,910 5.3% 4.8%
Dec-02 380,150 2,910 6.5% 0.0%
Jan-03 401,050 2,998 5.5% 3.0%
Feb-03 402,800 3,099 0.4% 3.4%
Mar-03 400,050 3,367 -0.7% 8.6%
Apr-03 383,650 3,367 -4.1% 0.0%
May-03 376,950 3,367 -1.7% 0.0%
Jun-03 365,400 3,513 -3.1% 4.3%
Jul-03 357,200 3,310 -2.2% -5.8%
Aug-03 367,700 3,193 2.9% -3.5%
Sep-03 384,450 3,193 4.6% 0.0%
Oct-03 390,700 3,193 1.6% 0.0%
Nov-03 383,800 3,193 -1.8% 0.0%
Dec-03 401,800 3,193 4.7% 0.0%
Jan-04 409,000 3,341 1.8% 4.6%
Feb-04 418,550 3,341 2.3% 0.0%
Mar-04 434,000 3,341 3.7% 0.0%
Apr-04 450,850 3,341 3.9% 0.0%
May-04 456,400 3,461 1.2% 3.6%
Jun-04 461,600 3,643 1.1% 5.3%
Jul-04 447,000 3,619 -3.2% -0.7%
Aug-04 442,700 3,959 -1.0% 9.4%
Sep-04 439,400 4,206 -0.7% 6.2%
Oct-04 468,600 4,361 6.6% 3.7%
Nov-04 456,200 4,598 -2.6% 5.4%
Dec-04 481,540 4,415 5.6% -4.0%
Jan-05 492,940 4,021 2.4% -8.9%
Feb-05 484,570 4,021 -1.7% 0.0%
Mar-05 483,850 4,257 -0.1% 5.9%
Apr-05 482,820 4,808 -0.2% 12.9%
May-05 504,430 4,808 4.5% 0.0%
Jun-05 504,450 4,610 0.0% -4.1%
Jul-05 513,870 4,960 1.9% 7.6%
Aug-05 513,590 5,500 -0.1% 10.9%
Sep-05 506,790 5,345 -1.3% -2.8%
Oct-05 509,060 5,345 0.4% 0.0%
Nov-05 506,150 5,345 -0.6% 0.0%
Dec-05 512,100 4,750 1.2% -11.1%
Jan-06 506,250 4,420 -1.1% -6.9%

*Taken from the previously calculated Combined Food Basket for Lusaka (1997-2005)

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
Cost of Basic Food Items (Kwacha)

Ja
n-

100,000
200,000
300,000
400,000
500,000
600,000

0
Ap 97
r-9
Ju 7
l-
O 97
ct
-
Ja 97
n-
Ap 98
r-9
Ju 8
l-
O 98
ct
-
Ja 98
n-
Ap 99
r-9
Ju 9
l-
O 99
ct
-
Ja 99
n-
Ap 00
r-0
Ju 0
l-
O 00
ct
-
Ja 00
n-
Ap 01

Basic Food Items


r-0
Ju 1
l-
O 01
ct
-

Month
Ja 01
n-
Ap 02
r-0
Ju 2
l-
O 02
ct
-
Ja 02
n-
Ap 03

Diesel at the Pump (1 litre)


r-0
Ju 3
l-
O 03
ct
-
Ja 03
n-
Ap 04
r-0
Ju 4
l-
(From the JCTR Basket and the Energy Regulation Board's Record of Diesel Prices)

O 04
ct
-
Ja 04
n-
Cost of Basic Food Items vs. Cost of Diesel in Lusaka: (1997-2005)

Ap 05
r-0
Ju 5
l-
O 05
ct
-
Ja 05
n-
06
0
1,000
2,000
3,000
4,000
5,000
6,000

Cost of 1 litre Diesel (Kwacha)


Percent Change

Ja
n-

-15.0%
-10.0%
10.0%
15.0%
20.0%
25.0%
30.0%

-5.0%
0.0%
5.0%
Ap 97
r-9
Ju 7
l-
O 97
ct
-
Ja 97
n-
Ap 98
r-9
Ju 8
l-
O 98
ct
-
Ja 98
n-
Ap 99
r-9
Ju 9
l-
O 99
ct
-
Ja 99
n-
Ap 00
r-0
Ju 0
l-
O 00
ct
-
Ja 00
n-
Ap 01

Basic Food Items


r-0
Ju 1
l-
O 01
ct
-

Month
Ja 01
n-
Ap 02
r-0
Ju 2
l-
O 02
ct
-
Ja 02
n-
Ap 03

Diesel at the Pump (1 litre)


r-0
Ju 3
l-
O 03
ct
-
Ja 03
n-
Ap 04
r-0
Ju 4
(From the JCTR Basket and the Energy Regulation Board's Record of Diesel Prices)

l-
O 04
ct
-
Ja 04
n-
Ap 05
r-0
% Change of Basic Food Items vs. % Change of Diesel in Lusaka: (1997-2005)

Ju 5
l-
O 05
ct
-
Ja 05
n-
06
2002 - 2005 Basic Needs Basket for Lusaka: The Cost of Essential Food and Non-Food Items for a Family of Six

Basic Food Items Essential Non-Food Items


Basic Needs Basic Food Essential Mealie Meat Veg. Cooking Tea Soap Wash-Soap
Basket Items Non-Food Items Meal Beans Kapenta Dry Fish (Mixed Cut) Eggs (Greens) Tomato Onion Milk Oil Bread Sugar Salt (Leaves) Charcoal (Lifebuoy) (Paste) Jelly Electricity Water Housing
Total Sub-Total Sub-Total 3 x (25 kg 2 Units (20 2x 2 x (90 kg Medium Medium Medium
(Kwacha) (Kwacha) (Kwacha) bags) 2 kgs 2 kgs 1 kg 4 kgs eggs) 7.5 kgs 4 kgs 4 kgs 2 litres (2 litres) 30 loafs 8 kgs 1 kg 500 g bags) 10 tablets 4 x (400 g) 500 mL Density Density Density
Jan-02 829,250 324,650 504,600 108,000 9,600 39,000 12,500 30,600 6,200 8,250 8,000 8,000 4,400 21,200 43,500 18,400 1,100 5,900 36,000 8,000 7,600 3,000 75,000 25,000 350,000
Feb-02 823,510 324,510 499,000 108,900 8,600 39,000 11,600 28,400 6,400 8,250 6,800 8,000 4,600 22,200 46,500 18,360 1,100 5,800 30,000 8,000 8,000 3,000 75,000 25,000 350,000
Mar-02 824,600 327,300 497,300 108,600 8,600 38,400 12,000 29,600 6,000 9,000 8,000 9,600 4,600 22,200 45,000 18,400 1,100 6,200 28,000 8,000 8,000 3,300 75,000 25,000 350,000
Apr-02 825,500 326,300 499,200 102,600 8,400 37,300 13,200 30,400 6,000 9,000 10,000 10,400 4,600 23,200 45,000 20,000 1,200 5,000 30,000 8,000 8,000 3,200 75,000 25,000 350,000
May-02 814,350 317,150 497,200 97,200 8,600 35,000 12,000 30,400 6,400 10,500 8,800 9,200 4,600 22,800 45,000 20,400 1,250 5,000 28,000 8,000 8,000 3,200 75,000 25,000 350,000
Jun-02 827,950 330,350 497,600 103,500 8,600 37,000 13,000 30,000 6,200 11,250 12,000 8,400 4,800 24,000 45,000 20,400 1,200 5,000 28,400 8,000 8,000 3,200 75,000 25,000 350,000
Jul-02 831,350 334,250 497,100 108,000 8,800 36,800 13,500 28,800 6,300 11,250 11,600 8,000 5,000 24,400 45,000 20,000 1,200 5,600 28,000 8,000 8,000 3,100 75,000 25,000 350,000
Aug-02 821,800 324,500 497,300 108,600 8,600 37,000 13,000 28,800 6,300 10,500 4,800 5,600 5,000 24,600 45,000 20,000 1,200 5,500 28,000 8,000 8,000 3,300 75,000 25,000 350,000
Sep-02 825,100 326,500 498,600 108,000 8,400 37,300 14,000 29,200 6,800 10,500 5,200 6,000 5,000 24,600 45,000 20,000 1,200 5,300 29,200 8,000 8,400 3,000 75,000 25,000 350,000
Oct-02 836,550 339,150 497,400 108,600 8,600 37,300 14,600 30,800 7,000 11,250 6,000 8,000 5,000 26,600 48,000 20,800 1,300 5,300 28,000 8,000 8,000 3,400 75,000 25,000 350,000
Nov-02 863,400 357,000 506,400 118,800 9,200 40,000 14,600 32,800 7,000 12,000 6,000 8,000 5,200 28,000 48,000 20,800 1,300 5,300 36,000 9,000 8,000 3,400 75,000 25,000 350,000
Dec-02 887,550 380,150 507,400 135,000 10,600 41,300 14,600 32,800 7,800 12,750 6,000 8,000 5,200 29,800 48,000 21,600 1,400 5,300 37,000 9,000 8,000 3,400 75,000 25,000 350,000
Jan-03 1,029,150 401,050 628,100 129,000 11,600 46,000 14,000 33,600 7,400 17,250 16,000 8,800 5,400 32,400 51,000 22,400 1,400 4,800 36,600 9,000 8,000 3,500 87,000 34,000 450,000
Feb-03 1,035,300 402,800 632,500 136,800 10,600 43,000 12,400 32,000 7,600 13,500 15,200 8,400 5,600 34,800 54,000 22,400 1,500 5,000 37,000 13,000 8,000 3,500 87,000 34,000 450,000
Mar-03 1,033,750 400,050 633,700 136,200 10,000 43,000 12,800 32,000 7,600 12,750 12,800 8,400 5,600 36,000 54,000 22,400 1,500 5,000 39,200 12,000 8,000 3,500 87,000 34,000 450,000
Apr-03 1,030,850 383,650 647,200 125,400 10,000 40,000 10,500 32,000 8,400 12,750 9,200 10,000 6,000 34,800 54,000 24,000 1,400 5,200 52,000 12,000 8,000 4,200 87,000 34,000 450,000
May-03 1,028,650 376,950 651,700 109,500 8,600 40,000 14,000 34,800 8,400 12,750 8,800 10,400 6,400 35,600 57,000 24,000 1,400 5,300 56,000 12,000 8,400 4,300 87,000 34,000 450,000
Jun-03 1,012,100 365,400 646,700 91,500 9,600 41,000 14,000 35,200 8,600 12,000 8,400 10,400 6,600 40,000 57,000 24,400 1,500 5,200 51,000 12,000 8,400 4,300 87,000 34,000 450,000
Jul-03 1,005,400 357,200 648,200 81,000 10,000 40,000 18,000 36,800 8,800 12,000 8,000 8,400 6,800 36,000 60,000 24,800 1,600 5,000 52,000 12,000 8,800 4,400 87,000 34,000 450,000
Aug-03 1,014,500 367,700 646,800 82,800 10,200 46,000 18,800 40,000 9,000 12,000 8,000 10,000 6,600 32,200 60,000 24,800 1,600 5,700 50,000 12,000 9,200 4,600 87,000 34,000 450,000
Sep-03 1,027,450 384,450 643,000 84,000 10,400 48,000 22,000 47,600 9,600 12,750 10,000 9,600 6,400 32,200 60,000 24,800 1,600 5,500 46,000 12,000 9,600 4,400 87,000 34,000 450,000
Oct-03 1,031,700 390,700 641,000 84,000 11,000 48,000 24,000 48,000 10,000 12,000 10,000 10,000 6,800 34,000 60,000 25,600 1,500 5,800 44,000 12,000 9,600 4,400 87,000 34,000 450,000
Nov-03 1,032,800 383,800 649,000 82,500 10,400 47,000 25,000 44,000 10,000 12,000 11,200 9,600 7,000 32,000 60,000 25,600 1,500 6,000 52,000 12,000 9,600 4,400 87,000 34,000 450,000
Dec-03 1,050,400 401,800 648,600 83,100 10,400 47,000 25,000 52,800 10,200 18,000 11,600 9,600 7,000 34,000 60,000 25,600 1,500 6,000 52,000 12,000 9,200 4,400 87,000 34,000 450,000
Jan-04 1,065,900 409,000 656,900 87,000 12,000 48,000 37,000 48,800 10,000 15,000 9,600 9,200 7,000 32,000 60,000 25,600 1,500 6,300 60,000 12,000 9,600 4,300 87,000 34,000 450,000
Feb-04 1,078,750 418,550 660,200 89,700 10,000 52,000 37,000 48,800 10,200 17,250 8,800 8,800 7,200 34,400 60,000 26,400 1,900 6,100 63,200 12,000 9,600 4,400 87,000 34,000 450,000
Mar-04 1,094,100 434,000 660,100 90,600 12,000 52,500 41,000 49,600 10,200 16,500 9,600 9,600 7,200 32,000 66,000 27,200 2,000 8,000 63,200 12,000 9,600 4,300 87,000 34,000 450,000
Apr-04 1,110,150 450,850 659,300 90,000 12,000 60,000 42,000 48,000 10,000 17,250 11,200 10,400 7,800 38,000 63,000 30,400 2,000 8,800 62,000 12,000 9,600 4,700 87,000 34,000 450,000
May-04 1,113,900 456,400 657,500 87,000 9,600 68,000 40,000 50,400 10,200 19,500 11,200 10,800 8,400 36,000 63,000 30,400 2,100 9,800 60,400 12,000 9,600 4,500 87,000 34,000 450,000
Jun-04 1,118,700 461,600 657,100 85,800 12,000 73,600 40,800 48,000 10,200 21,000 10,400 10,000 8,200 37,000 63,000 29,600 2,000 10,000 60,000 12,000 9,600 4,500 87,000 34,000 450,000
Jul-04 1,105,100 447,000 658,100 84,600 11,600 62,000 40,000 48,800 10,200 21,000 10,000 10,000 8,200 36,000 63,000 29,600 2,000 10,000 61,000 12,000 9,600 4,500 87,000 34,000 450,000
Aug-04 1,100,200 442,700 657,500 84,000 11,800 58,000 40,000 53,200 10,200 16,500 8,000 9,200 8,200 36,000 66,000 29,600 2,000 10,000 60,000 12,000 10,000 4,500 87,000 34,000 450,000
Sep-04 1,097,100 439,400 657,700 84,600 11,600 56,000 37,000 56,800 10,000 18,000 6,800 8,800 8,200 34,000 66,000 29,600 2,000 10,000 60,000 12,000 10,200 4,500 87,000 34,000 450,000
Oct-04 1,127,500 468,600 658,900 85,500 12,400 58,000 39,000 76,000 10,400 15,000 9,200 9,600 8,200 36,000 66,000 31,200 2,000 10,100 60,400 12,000 10,800 4,700 87,000 34,000 450,000
Nov-04 1,114,800 456,200 658,600 87,900 12,400 60,000 39,200 61,200 10,400 15,000 8,800 9,600 8,900 34,800 66,000 30,400 2,000 9,600 60,000 12,000 10,800 4,800 87,000 34,000 450,000
Dec-04 1,147,840 481,540 666,300 96,600 12,000 65,400 41,000 59,600 10,400 18,750 9,200 9,200 8,690 36,200 72,000 31,200 2,000 9,300 68,000 12,000 10,400 4,900 87,000 34,000 450,000
Jan-05 1,340,840 492,940 847,900 99,000 12,400 70,600 40,000 62,800 10,400 18,000 10,000 9,600 8,840 36,200 72,000 31,200 2,000 9,900 73,200 12,000 10,800 4,900 113,000 34,000 600,000
Feb-05 1,333,170 484,570 848,600 100,500 12,000 62,600 41,000 58,400 10,800 18,750 10,000 10,000 8,520 36,600 72,000 31,200 2,000 10,200 73,200 13,000 10,400 5,000 113,000 34,000 600,000
Mar-05 1,331,950 483,850 848,100 100,500 12,000 62,600 40,000 58,800 10,800 18,750 10,000 10,000 8,700 36,600 72,000 31,200 2,000 9,900 73,200 12,000 10,800 5,100 113,000 34,000 600,000
Apr-05 1,331,920 482,820 849,100 99,900 12,000 64,000 41,000 58,000 10,800 16,500 10,000 9,600 8,620 35,000 72,000 32,800 2,000 10,600 73,200 13,000 10,400 5,500 113,000 34,000 600,000
May-05 1,352,130 504,430 847,700 103,800 12,600 72,000 50,000 56,800 10,200 15,750 10,000 10,400 8,780 35,800 72,000 33,600 2,100 10,600 71,200 13,000 10,800 5,700 113,000 34,000 600,000
Jun-05 1,349,650 504,450 845,200 106,500 12,600 66,600 50,600 58,800 10,200 13,500 10,000 10,400 8,450 37,000 72,000 36,000 2,000 9,800 69,000 13,000 10,400 5,800 113,000 34,000 600,000
Jul-05 1,361,770 513,870 847,900 106,800 12,000 75,200 53,300 58,800 10,200 15,000 10,000 10,000 8,470 34,400 72,000 35,200 2,100 10,400 72,400 12,000 10,800 5,700 113,000 34,000 600,000
Aug-05 1,358,990 513,590 845,400 121,200 12,000 67,400 50,000 58,800 10,200 13,500 10,000 8,800 8,090 34,800 72,000 35,200 2,000 9,600 68,400 13,000 11,200 5,800 113,000 34,000 600,000
Sep-05 1,353,790 506,790 847,000 116,700 11,400 66,600 45,000 58,000 9,800 13,500 10,400 11,200 8,090 34,000 75,000 35,200 2,100 9,800 70,400 13,000 10,800 5,800 113,000 34,000 600,000
Oct-05 1,348,860 509,060 839,800 123,000 10,600 68,000 46,700 55,200 10,200 13,500 10,400 10,800 7,760 34,000 72,000 35,200 2,100 9,600 63,200 13,000 10,800 5,800 113,000 34,000 600,000
Nov-05 1,345,550 506,150 839,400 127,200 11,600 68,000 46,700 49,200 10,400 14,250 10,000 10,400 8,400 34,000 69,000 35,200 2,100 9,700 62,800 13,000 10,800 5,800 113,000 34,000 600,000
Dec-05 1,368,700 512,100 856,600 127,800 12,600 70,600 43,300 48,400 10,400 16,500 10,400 9,600 8,900 31,000 75,000 36,000 2,200 9,400 80,000 13,000 10,800 5,800 113,000 34,000 600,000
Jan-06 1,415,650 506,250 909,400 123,300 13,000 70,600 40,000 49,600 10,000 15,750 10,000 9,600 8,700 32,400 75,000 36,800 2,100 9,400 82,800 13,000 10,800 5,800 113,000 34,000 650,000

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
Kwacha Cost of Basic Needs in Lusaka: (2002-2005)
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

1,450,000

1,400,000

1,350,000

1,300,000

1,250,000

1,200,000
kwacha

1,150,000

1,100,000

1,050,000

1,000,000

950,000

900,000

850,000

800,000
Jan- Apr- Jul- Oct- Jan- Apr- Jul- Oct- Jan- Apr- Jul- Oct- Jan- Apr- Jul- Oct- Jan-
02 02 02 02 03 03 03 03 04 04 04 04 05 05 05 05 06
Month
Kwacha Cost of Basic Food Items in Lusaka: (2002-2005)
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

550,000

500,000

450,000
Kwacha

400,000

350,000

300,000
Jan- Apr- Jul- Oct- Jan- Apr- Jul- Oct- Jan- Apr- Jul- Oct- Jan- Apr- Jul- Oct- Jan-
02 02 02 02 03 03 03 03 04 04 04 04 05 05 05 05 06
Month
Basic Needs Basket (BNB) for Lusaka in US Dollars (2002-2005)

Average Market BNB BNB Food Items Food Items Non-Food Items Non-Food Items
Month Exchange Rate* (Kwacha) (US$) (Kwacha) (US$) (Kwacha) (US$)
Jan-02 3,964.81 829,250 209.15 324,650 81.88 504,600 127.27
Feb-02 4,111.56 823,510 200.29 324,510 78.93 499,000 121.37
Mar-02 4,217.45 824,600 195.52 327,300 77.61 497,300 117.91
Apr-02 4,075.95 825,500 202.53 326,300 80.05 499,200 122.47
May-02 4,179.89 814,350 194.83 317,150 75.88 497,200 118.95
Jun-02 4,416.45 827,950 187.47 330,350 74.80 497,600 112.67
Jul-02 4,504.53 831,350 184.56 334,250 74.20 497,100 110.36
Aug-02 4,497.23 821,800 182.73 324,500 72.16 497,300 110.58
Sep-02 4,493.15 825,100 183.64 326,500 72.67 498,600 110.97
Oct-02 4,575.48 836,550 182.83 339,150 74.12 497,400 108.71
Nov-02 4,783.78 863,400 180.48 357,000 74.63 506,400 105.86
Dec-02 4,797.42 887,550 185.01 380,150 79.24 507,400 105.77
Jan-03 4,535.33 1,029,150 226.92 401,050 88.43 628,100 138.49
Feb-03 4,970.25 1,035,300 208.30 402,800 81.04 632,500 127.26
Mar-03 4,891.55 1,033,750 211.33 400,050 81.78 633,700 129.55
Apr-03 4,864.55 1,030,850 211.91 383,650 78.87 647,200 133.04
May-03 4,793.68 1,028,650 214.58 376,950 78.63 651,700 135.95
Jun-03 4,802.21 1,012,100 210.76 365,400 76.09 646,700 134.67
Jul-03 4,792.75 1,005,400 209.78 357,200 74.53 648,200 135.25
Aug-03 4,705.48 1,014,500 215.60 367,700 78.14 646,800 137.46
Sep-03 4,768.00 1,027,450 215.49 384,450 80.63 643,000 134.86
Oct-03 4,758.37 1,031,700 216.82 390,700 82.11 641,000 134.71
Nov-03 4,753.86 1,032,800 217.26 383,800 80.73 649,000 136.52
Dec-03 4,581.08 1,050,400 229.29 401,800 87.71 648,600 141.58
Jan-04 4,765.91 1,065,900 223.65 409,000 85.82 656,900 137.83
Feb-04 4,764.11 1,078,750 226.43 418,550 87.85 660,200 138.58
Mar-04 4,722.67 1,094,100 231.67 434,000 91.90 660,100 139.77
Apr-04 4,735.01 1,110,150 234.46 450,850 95.22 659,300 139.24
May-04 4,754.61 1,113,900 234.28 456,400 95.99 657,500 138.29
Jun-04 4,833.25 1,118,700 231.46 461,600 95.51 657,100 135.95
Jul-04 4,789.53 1,105,100 230.73 447,000 93.33 658,100 137.40
Aug-04 4,791.94 1,100,200 229.59 442,700 92.38 657,500 137.21
Sep-04 4,862.81 1,097,100 225.61 439,400 90.36 657,700 135.25
Oct-04 4,901.21 1,127,500 230.05 468,600 95.61 658,900 134.44
Nov-04 4,804.24 1,114,800 232.05 456,200 94.96 658,600 137.09
Dec-04 4,655.08 1,147,840 246.58 481,540 103.44 666,300 143.13
Jan-05 4,791.29 1,340,840 279.85 492,940 102.88 847,900 176.97
Feb-05 4,761.63 1,333,170 279.98 484,570 101.77 848,600 178.22
Mar-05 4,714.36 1,331,950 282.53 483,850 102.63 848,100 179.90
Apr-05 4,675.18 1,331,920 284.89 482,820 103.27 849,100 181.62
May-05 4,698.99 1,352,130 287.75 504,430 107.35 847,700 180.40
Jun-05 4,696.66 1,349,650 287.36 504,450 107.41 845,200 179.96
Jul-05 4,630.53 1,361,770 294.09 513,870 110.97 847,900 183.11
Aug-05 4,414.01 1,358,990 307.88 513,590 116.35 845,400 191.53
Sep-05 4,448.49 1,353,790 304.33 506,790 113.92 847,000 190.40
Oct-05 4,358.81 1,348,860 309.46 509,060 116.79 839,800 192.67
Nov-05 4,027.39 1,345,550 334.10 506,150 125.68 839,400 208.42
Dec-05 3,428.69 1,368,700 399.19 512,100 149.36 856,600 249.83
Jan-06 3,375.79 1,415,650 419.35 506,250 149.96 909,400 269.39

*Monthly Average Market Exchange Rates collected from the Bank of Zambia's record of Commercial Banks' Weighted Retail
Average Kwacha-US$ mid-rates from 2002 to the present

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
US$ Cost of Basic Needs in Lusaka: (2002-2005)
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

430
420
410
400
390
380
370
360
350
340
330
320
310
US$

300
290
280
270
260
250
240
230
220
210
200
190
180
170
Jan-02 Apr-02 Jul-02 Oct-02 Jan-03 Apr-03 Jul-03 Oct-03 Jan-04 Apr-04 Jul-04 Oct-04 Jan-05 Apr-05 Jul-05 Oct-05 Jan-06
Month
US$ Cost of Basic Food Items in Lusaka: (2002-2005)
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

150

140

130

120
US$

110

100

90

80

70
Jan-02 Apr-02 Jul-02 Oct-02 Jan-03 Apr-03 Jul-03 Oct-03 Jan-04 Apr-04 Jul-04 Oct-04 Jan-05 Apr-05 Jul-05 Oct-05 Jan-06
Month
Inflation of Basic Food Items in Lusaka: 2002-2005
(Based Upon JCTR Basic Needs Basket )

Basic Food Twelve Month Month on Month


Basket Inflation Rates Inflation Rates
Month (Kwacha) (%) (%)
Jan-03 401,050 23.5% 5.5%
Feb-03 402,800 24.1% 0.4%
Mar-03 400,050 22.2% -0.7%
Apr-03 383,650 17.6% -4.1%
May-03 376,950 18.9% -1.7%
Jun-03 365,400 10.6% -3.1%
Jul-03 357,200 6.9% -2.2%
Aug-03 367,700 13.3% 2.9%
Sep-03 384,450 17.7% 4.6%
Oct-03 390,700 15.2% 1.6%
Nov-03 383,800 7.5% -1.8%
Dec-03 401,800 5.7% 4.7%
Jan-04 409,000 2.0% 1.8%
Feb-04 418,550 3.9% 2.3%
Mar-04 434,000 8.5% 3.7%
Apr-04 450,850 17.5% 3.9%
May-04 456,400 21.1% 1.2%
Jun-04 461,600 26.3% 1.1%
Jul-04 447,000 25.1% -3.2%
Aug-04 442,700 20.4% -1.0%
Sep-04 439,400 14.3% -0.7%
Oct-04 468,600 19.9% 6.6%
Nov-04 456,200 18.9% -2.6%
Dec-04 481,540 19.8% 5.6%
Jan-05 492,940 20.5% 2.4%
Feb-05 484,570 15.8% -1.7%
Mar-05 483,850 11.5% -0.1%
Apr-05 482,820 7.1% -0.2%
May-05 504,430 10.5% 4.5%
Jun-05 504,450 9.3% 0.0%
Jul-05 513,870 15.0% 1.9%
Aug-05 513,590 16.0% -0.1%
Sep-05 506,790 15.3% -1.3%
Oct-05 509,060 8.6% 0.4%
Nov-05 506,150 10.9% -0.6%
Dec-05 512,100 6.3% 1.2%
Jan-06 506,250
Average Food Inflation Rates 14.7% 0.9%

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
Inflation of Basic Food Items in Lusaka: 2003-2005
(Based Upon 12 Month Inflation Rates for the JCTR Basic Needs Basket )

30%

25%

20%
Inflation

15%

10%

5%

0%
Jan- Mar- May- Jul- Sep- Nov- Jan- Mar- May- Jul- Sep- Nov- Jan- Mar- May- Jul- Sep- Nov-
03 03 03 03 03 03 04 04 04 04 04 04 05 05 05 05 05 05
Month
2005 Basic Needs Basket for Lusaka: The Cost of Essential Food and Non-Food Items for a Family of Six

Basic Food Items Essential Non-Food Items

Basic Needs Basic Food Essential Mealie Meat Veg. Cooking Tea Soap Wash-Soap
Basket Items Non-Food Items Meal Beans Kapenta Dry Fish (Mixed Cut) Eggs (Greens) Tomato Onion Milk Oil Bread Sugar Salt (Leaves) Charcoal (Lifebuoy) (Paste) Jelly Electricity Water Housing
3 x (25 kg 2 Units (20 2x 2 x (90 kg Medium Medium Medium
Total Sub-Total Sub-Total bags) 2 kgs 2 kgs 1 kg 4 kgs eggs) 7.5 kgs 4 kgs 4 kgs 2 litres (2 litres) 30 loafs 8 kgs 1 kg 500 g bags) 10 tablets 4 x (400 g) 500 mL Density Density Density
Jan-05 1,340,840 492,940 847,900 99,000 12,400 70,600 40,000 62,800 10,400 18,000 10,000 9,600 8,840 36,200 72,000 31,200 2,000 9,900 73,200 12,000 10,800 4,900 113,000 34,000 600,000
Feb-05 1,333,170 484,570 848,600 100,500 12,000 62,600 41,000 58,400 10,800 18,750 10,000 10,000 8,520 36,600 72,000 31,200 2,000 10,200 73,200 13,000 10,400 5,000 113,000 34,000 600,000
Mar-05 1,331,950 483,850 848,100 100,500 12,000 62,600 40,000 58,800 10,800 18,750 10,000 10,000 8,700 36,600 72,000 31,200 2,000 9,900 73,200 12,000 10,800 5,100 113,000 34,000 600,000
Apr-05 1,331,920 482,820 849,100 99,900 12,000 64,000 41,000 58,000 10,800 16,500 10,000 9,600 8,620 35,000 72,000 32,800 2,000 10,600 73,200 13,000 10,400 5,500 113,000 34,000 600,000
May-05 1,352,130 504,430 847,700 103,800 12,600 72,000 50,000 56,800 10,200 15,750 10,000 10,400 8,780 35,800 72,000 33,600 2,100 10,600 71,200 13,000 10,800 5,700 113,000 34,000 600,000
Jun-05 1,349,650 504,450 845,200 106,500 12,600 66,600 50,600 58,800 10,200 13,500 10,000 10,400 8,450 37,000 72,000 36,000 2,000 9,800 69,000 13,000 10,400 5,800 113,000 34,000 600,000
Jul-05 1,361,770 513,870 847,900 106,800 12,000 75,200 53,300 58,800 10,200 15,000 10,000 10,000 8,470 34,400 72,000 35,200 2,100 10,400 72,400 12,000 10,800 5,700 113,000 34,000 600,000
Aug-05 1,358,990 513,590 845,400 121,200 12,000 67,400 50,000 58,800 10,200 13,500 10,000 8,800 8,090 34,800 72,000 35,200 2,000 9,600 68,400 13,000 11,200 5,800 113,000 34,000 600,000
Sep-05 1,353,790 506,790 847,000 116,700 11,400 66,600 45,000 58,000 9,800 13,500 10,400 11,200 8,090 34,000 75,000 35,200 2,100 9,800 70,400 13,000 10,800 5,800 113,000 34,000 600,000
Oct-05 1,348,860 509,060 839,800 123,000 10,600 68,000 46,700 55,200 10,200 13,500 10,400 10,800 7,760 34,000 72,000 35,200 2,100 9,600 63,200 13,000 10,800 5,800 113,000 34,000 600,000
Nov-05 1,345,550 506,150 839,400 127,200 11,600 68,000 46,700 49,200 10,400 14,250 10,000 10,400 8,400 34,000 69,000 35,200 2,100 9,700 62,800 13,000 10,800 5,800 113,000 34,000 600,000
Dec-05 1,368,700 512,100 856,600 127,800 12,600 70,600 43,300 48,400 10,400 16,500 10,400 9,600 8,900 31,000 75,000 36,000 2,200 9,400 80,000 13,000 10,800 5,800 113,000 34,000 600,000

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
Kwacha Cost of Essential Food and Non-Food Items in Lusaka: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

1,380,000

1,370,000

1,360,000
kwacha

1,350,000

1,340,000

1,330,000

1,320,000
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05
Month
Kwacha Cost of Basic Food Items in Lusaka: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

520,000

510,000

500,000
Kwacha

490,000

480,000

470,000
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05
Month
2005 Basic Needs Basket (BNB) for Lusaka in US Dollars*

Average Market BNB BNB Food Items Food Items


Month Exchange Rate* (Kwacha) (US$) (Kwacha) (US$)
Jan-05 4,791.29 1,340,840 279.85 492,940 102.88
Feb-05 4,761.63 1,333,170 279.98 484,570 101.77
Mar-05 4,714.36 1,331,950 282.53 483,850 102.63
Apr-05 4,675.18 1,331,920 284.89 482,820 103.27
May-05 4,698.99 1,352,130 287.75 504,430 107.35
Jun-05 4,696.66 1,349,650 287.36 504,450 107.41
Jul-05 4,630.53 1,361,770 294.09 513,870 110.97
Aug-05 4,414.01 1,358,990 307.88 513,590 116.35
Sep-05 4,448.49 1,353,790 304.33 506,790 113.92
Oct-05 4,358.81 1,348,860 309.46 509,060 116.79
Nov-05 4,027.39 1,345,550 334.10 506,150 125.68
Dec-05 3,428.69 1,368,700 399.19 512,100 149.36
Average 4,470.50 1,348,110 304.28 501,218 113.20
*Monthly Average Market Exchange Rates collected from the Bank of Zambia's record of
Commercial Banks' Weighted Retail Average Kwacha-US$ mid-rates for 2005

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
US$ Cost of Essential Food and Non-Food Items in Lusaka: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

410

400

390

380

370

360

350
US$

340

330

320

310

300

290

280

270
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05
Month
US$ Cost of Basic Food Items in Lusaka: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)
160

150

140

130
US$

120

110

100

90
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05
Month
Inflation of Basic Food Items in Lusaka - 2005
(Based Upon JCTR Basic Needs Basket )

Basic Food Twelve Month Month on Month


Basket Inflation Rates Inflation Rates
Month (Kwacha) (%) (%)
Jan-05 492,940 20.5% 2.4% 12.2%
Feb-05 484,570 15.8% -1.7% 12.2%
Mar-05 483,850 11.5% -0.1% 12.2%
Apr-05 482,820 7.1% -0.2% 12.2%
May-05 504,430 10.5% 4.5% 12.2%
Jun-05 504,450 9.3% 0.0% 12.2%
Jul-05 513,870 15.0% 1.9% 12.2%
Aug-05 513,590 16.0% -0.1% 12.2%
Sep-05 506,790 15.3% -1.3% 12.2%
Oct-05 509,060 8.6% 0.4% 12.2%
Nov-05 506,150 10.9% -0.6% 12.2%
Dec-05 512,100 6.3% 1.2% 12.2%
Average Food Inflation Rates 12.2% 0.5%

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
Inflation of Basic Food Items in Lusaka: 2005
(Based Upon 12 Month Inflation Rates for the JCTR Basic Needs Basket )

25.0%

20.0%

15.0%
Inflation

10.0%

5.0%

0.0%
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05
Month
Inflation of Basic Needs in Lusaka - 2005
(Based Upon JCTR Basic Needs Basket )

Basic Needs *Adjusted Basic Twelve Month Month on Month


Basket Needs Basket Inflation Rates Inflation Rates
Month (Kwacha) (Kwacha) (%) (%)
Jan-05 1,340,840 1,345,007 17.2% 3.6% 12.6%
Feb-05 1,333,170 1,341,503 15.0% -0.3% 12.6%
Mar-05 1,331,950 1,344,450 13.2% 0.2% 12.6%
Apr-05 1,331,920 1,348,587 11.4% 0.3% 12.6%
May-05 1,352,130 1,372,963 12.5% 1.8% 12.6%
Jun-05 1,349,650 1,374,650 11.7% 0.1% 12.6%
Jul-05 1,361,770 1,390,937 13.7% 1.2% 12.6%
Aug-05 1,358,990 1,392,323 13.6% 0.1% 12.6%
Sep-05 1,353,790 1,391,290 13.3% -0.1% 12.6%
Oct-05 1,348,860 1,390,527 9.9% -0.1% 12.6%
Nov-05 1,345,550 1,391,383 10.6% 0.1% 12.6%
Dec-05 1,368,700 1,418,700 9.3% 2.0% 12.6%
Jan-06 1,415,650 1,415,650
Average Basic Needs Inflation Rates 12.6% 0.8%

*Housing adjustments of January 2005 and January 2006 are backward


adjusted in monthly increments of equal value

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
Inflation of Basic Needs in Lusaka: 2005
(Based Upon 12 Month Inflation Rates for the JCTR Basic Needs Basket )

20.0%

18.0%

16.0%

14.0%
Inflation

12.0%

10.0%

8.0%

6.0%
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05
Month
Kwacha Cost of Essential Food and Non-Food Items Across Zambia in 2005:
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

Lusaka Livingstone Ndola Kitwe Luanshya Kabwe


Jan-05 1,340,840 1,108,750 988,280 973,910 838,410 842,900
Feb-05 1,333,170 1,134,100 1,013,530 950,510 806,380 859,530
Mar-05 1,331,950 1,091,900 989,230 997,310 804,990 874,750
Apr-05 1,331,920 1,144,100 1,068,460 996,310 852,390 969,780
May-05 1,352,130 1,146,300 1,097,860 1,012,390 878,420 995,420
Jun-05 1,349,650 1,168,300 1,112,380 1,027,150 878,440 968,630
Jul-05 1,361,770 1,181,800 1,142,030 1,042,990 889,120 981,410
Aug-05 1,358,990 1,189,250 1,118,440 1,048,890 894,270 991,300
Sep-05 1,353,790 1,176,600 1,146,330 1,058,590 872,620 993,120
Oct-05 1,348,860 1,177,850 1,163,350 1,040,140 883,330
Nov-05 1,345,550 1,206,750 1,130,380 1,048,080 893,480
Dec-05 1,368,700 1,215,750 1,162,370 1,048,540 917,870
Jan-06 1,415,650 1,251,900 1,160,720 1,054,640 922,290 917,140

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
Kwacha Cost of Essential Food and Non-Food Items Across Zambia in 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

1,500,000

1,400,000

1,300,000

1,200,000
Kwacha

1,100,000

1,000,000

900,000

800,000

700,000
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month

Lusaka Livingstone Ndola Kitwe Luanshya Kabwe


Kwacha Cost of Basic Food Items Across Zambia in 2005:
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

Lusaka Livingstone Ndola Kitwe Luanshya Kabwe


Jan-05 492,940 453,350 501,180 479,210 511,610 424,780
Feb-05 484,570 472,800 492,230 467,110 489,160 409,930
Mar-05 483,850 466,900 493,130 469,810 474,010 421,910
Apr-05 482,820 480,200 497,180 468,010 474,090 465,140
May-05 504,430 483,800 520,000 483,090 482,280 475,840
Jun-05 504,450 485,000 533,300 497,850 482,180 486,330
Jul-05 513,870 501,700 557,830 496,890 497,100 494,710
Aug-05 513,590 505,250 552,640 502,390 498,250 504,800
Sep-05 506,790 505,800 564,830 512,090 476,580 506,680
Oct-05 509,060 511,150 574,550 496,740 484,410
Nov-05 506,150 523,750 549,760 503,980 493,540
Dec-05 512,100 532,950 562,750 505,140 510,630
Jan-06 506,250 538,900 557,100 503,540 512,990 444,760

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
Kwacha Cost of Basic Food Items Across Zambia in 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

600,000

550,000
Kwacha

500,000

450,000

400,000
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month

Lusaka Livingstone Ndola Kitwe Luanshya Kabwe


Kwacha Cost of a 25Kg Bag of Mealie Meal Across Zambia in 2005:
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

Lusaka Livingstone Ndola Kitwe Luanshya Kabwe


Jul-04 28,200 31,800 33,000 33,000 32,900 27,000
Aug-04 28,000 31,000 33,200 30,900 32,900 26,900
Sep-04 28,200 31,100 33,200 31,700 35,000 28,800
Oct-04 28,500 30,400 35,000 34,400 33,000 29,500
Nov-04 29,300 31,900 32,000 32,000 33,100 30,100
Dec-04 32,200 32,900 34,900 34,900 34,400 31,500
Jan-05 33,000 35,400 35,400 35,300 35,200 33,000
Feb-05 33,500 35,600 35,400 34,200 34,200 33,800
Mar-05 33,500 35,500 35,500 34,200 33,800 33,200
Apr-05 33,300 35,700 35,400 34,000 33,800 33,400
May-05 34,600 37,100 35,300 35,200 34,400 34,000
Jun-05 35,500 37,500 35,800 34,500 34,000 34,600
Jul-05 35,600 37,600 36,100 34,500 34,400 35,200
Aug-05 40,400 42,800 36,400 36,200 35,000 37,700
Sep-05 38,900 43,600 38,800 38,900 38,200 38,500
Oct-05 41,000 43,600 39,700 40,200 39,400
Nov-05 42,400 44,300 40,200 40,200 41,500
Dec-05 42,600 45,100 41,200 42,500 42,000
Jan-06 41,100 42,800 39,400 41,400 42,200 39,400

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
Kwacha Cost of a 25Kg Bag of Mealie Meal Across Zambia (2004-2005)
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

45,000

40,000
Kwacha

35,000

30,000

25,000
Jul-04 Aug-04 Sep-04 Oct-04 Nov-04 Dec-04 Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month

Lusaka Livingstone Ndola Kitwe Luanshya Kabwe


2005 Basic Needs Basket for Livingstone: The Cost of Essential Food and Non-Food Items for a Family of Six

Basic Food Items Essential Non-Food Items


Basic Needs Basic Food Essential Mealie Meat Veg. Cooking Tea Soap Wash-Soap
Basket Items Non-Food Items Meal Beans Kapenta Dry Fish (Mixed Cut) Eggs (Greens) Tomato Onion Milk Oil Bread Sugar Salt (Leaves) Charcoal (Lifebuoy) (Paste) Jelly Electricity Water Housing
Total Sub-Total Sub-Total 3 x (25 kg 2 Units (20 2x 2 x (90 kg Medium Medium Medium
(Kwacha) (Kwacha) (Kwacha) bags) 2 kgs 2 kgs 1 kg 4 kgs eggs) 7.5 kgs 4 kgs 4 kgs 2 litres (2 litres) 30 loafs 8 kgs 1 kg 500 g bags) 10 tablets 4 x (400 g) 500 mL Density Density Density
Jan-05 1,108,750 453,350 655,400 106,200 9,800 46,000 23,300 51,200 12,800 11,250 11,600 10,000 7,900 32,400 87,000 32,000 2,800 9,100 104,400 14,000 11,600 5,400 100,000 70,000 350,000
Feb-05 1,134,100 472,800 661,300 106,800 9,800 48,400 27,000 53,600 12,600 15,000 12,000 15,200 7,700 33,000 87,000 32,000 2,700 10,000 110,000 14,000 12,000 5,300 100,000 70,000 350,000
Mar-05 1,091,900 466,900 625,000 106,500 9,800 46,000 27,000 52,000 12,600 16,500 8,800 14,400 8,200 33,200 87,000 32,000 2,900 10,000 74,000 14,000 11,600 5,400 100,000 70,000 350,000
Apr-05 1,144,100 480,200 663,900 107,100 10,400 46,000 27,000 52,000 12,600 19,500 14,800 16,800 8,300 33,000 87,000 32,800 2,900 10,000 62,000 15,000 11,600 5,300 100,000 70,000 400,000
May-05 1,146,300 483,800 662,500 111,300 10,600 46,800 29,500 52,000 12,000 15,000 12,800 18,800 8,300 33,400 87,000 33,600 2,700 10,000 60,000 15,000 12,000 5,500 100,000 70,000 400,000
Jun-05 1,168,300 485,000 683,300 112,500 9,800 48,800 22,500 52,000 12,000 15,000 13,200 24,400 7,800 33,600 87,000 33,600 2,900 9,900 80,500 15,000 12,000 5,800 100,000 70,000 400,000
Jul-05 1,181,800 501,700 680,100 112,800 10,400 46,600 32,500 52,000 12,000 13,500 14,800 23,200 8,200 33,200 96,000 33,600 2,900 10,000 77,500 15,000 11,600 6,000 100,000 70,000 400,000
Aug-05 1,189,250 505,250 684,000 128,400 11,000 46,600 32,500 51,200 11,600 14,250 10,800 17,200 7,800 31,400 96,000 33,600 2,900 10,000 82,000 14,000 12,000 6,000 100,000 70,000 400,000
Sep-05 1,176,600 505,800 670,800 130,800 11,000 48,400 30,000 52,000 11,800 12,000 12,000 15,600 7,900 31,800 96,000 33,600 2,900 10,000 68,000 15,000 12,000 5,800 100,000 70,000 400,000
Oct-05 1,177,850 511,150 666,700 130,800 10,600 46,800 30,000 52,000 11,800 12,750 13,200 16,800 7,800 32,200 96,000 37,600 2,800 10,000 64,000 15,000 12,000 5,700 100,000 70,000 400,000
Nov-05 1,206,750 523,750 683,000 132,900 11,600 48,400 31,500 52,000 11,800 15,750 14,800 18,800 7,800 32,000 96,000 37,600 2,900 9,900 80,000 15,000 12,000 6,000 100,000 70,000 400,000
Dec-05 1,215,750 532,950 682,800 135,300 10,800 48,400 33,000 52,000 11,800 21,750 14,000 19,200 7,800 32,400 96,000 37,600 2,900 10,000 80,000 15,000 12,000 5,800 100,000 70,000 400,000
Jan-06 1,251,900 538,900 713,000 128,400 17,600 64,800 30,000 52,000 11,800 19,500 12,800 16,800 7,800 31,000 96,000 37,600 2,800 10,000 85,000 15,000 12,000 6,000 100,000 70,000 425,000

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
Kwacha Cost of Basic Needs in Livingstone: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

1,300,000

1,250,000

1,200,000
kwacha

1,150,000

1,100,000

1,050,000
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month
Kwacha Cost of Basic Food Items in Livingstone: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

550,000
Kwacha

500,000

450,000
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month
Basic Needs Basket (BNB) for Livingstone in US Dollars: 2005

Average Market BNB BNB Food Items Food Items Non-Food Items Non-Food Items
Month Exchange Rate* (Kwacha) (US$) (Kwacha) (US$) (Kwacha) (US$)
Jan-05 4,791.29 1,108,750 231.41 453,350 94.62 655,400 136.79
Feb-05 4,761.63 1,134,100 238.17 472,800 99.29 661,300 138.88
Mar-05 4,714.36 1,091,900 231.61 466,900 99.04 625,000 132.57
Apr-05 4,675.18 1,144,100 244.72 480,200 102.71 663,900 142.01
May-05 4,698.99 1,146,300 243.95 483,800 102.96 662,500 140.99
Jun-05 4,696.66 1,168,300 248.75 485,000 103.26 683,300 145.49
Jul-05 4,630.53 1,181,800 255.22 501,700 108.35 680,100 146.87
Aug-05 4,414.01 1,189,250 269.43 505,250 114.47 684,000 154.96
Sep-05 4,448.49 1,176,600 264.49 505,800 113.70 670,800 150.79
Oct-05 4,358.81 1,177,850 270.22 511,150 117.27 666,700 152.95
Nov-05 4,027.39 1,206,750 299.64 523,750 130.05 683,000 169.59
Dec-05 3,428.69 1,215,750 354.58 532,950 155.44 682,800 199.14
Jan-06 3,375.79 1,251,900 370.85 538,900 159.64 713,000 211.21

*Monthly Average Market Exchange Rates collected from the Bank of Zambia's record of Commercial Banks' Weighted Retail
Average Kwacha-US$ mid-rates from 2005 to the present

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
US$ Cost of Basic Needs in Livingstone: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

380
370
360
350
340
330
320
310
300
US$

290
280
270
260
250
240
230
220
210
200
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month
US$ Cost of Basic Food Items in Livingstone: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

170

160

150

140

130
US$

120

110

100

90

80
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month
2005 Basic Needs Basket for Ndola: The Cost of Essential Food and Non-Food Items for a Family of Six

Basic Food Items Essential Non-Food Items


Basic Needs Basic Food Essential Mealie Meat Veg. Cooking Tea Soap Wash-Soap
Basket Items Non-Food Items Meal Beans Kapenta Dry Fish (Mixed Cut) Eggs (Greens) Tomato Onion Milk Oil Bread Sugar Salt (Leaves) Charcoal (Lifebuoy) (Paste) Jelly Electricity Water Housing
Total Sub-Total Sub-Total 3 x (25 kg 2 Units (20 2x 2 x (90 kg Medium Medium Medium
(Kwacha) (Kwacha) (Kwacha) bags) 2 kgs 2 kgs 1 kg 4 kgs eggs) 7.5 kgs 4 kgs 4 kgs 2 litres (2 litres) 30 loafs 8 kgs 1 kg 500 g bags) 10 tablets 4 x (400 g) 500 mL Density Density Density
Jan-05 988,280 501,180 487,100 106,200 14,200 58,000 31,300 69,200 10,000 13,500 14,800 16,000 10,800 27,680 81,000 37,600 2,100 8,800 76,600 11,000 10,400 5,100 55,000 29,000 300,000
Feb-05 1,013,530 492,230 521,300 106,200 13,200 55,000 32,500 68,400 10,200 12,750 13,200 13,600 10,400 27,680 81,000 37,600 2,100 8,400 110,200 12,000 10,400 4,700 55,000 29,000 300,000
Mar-05 989,230 493,130 496,100 106,500 10,800 70,400 28,900 66,400 10,200 14,250 8,400 16,400 10,400 28,480 78,000 31,200 2,400 10,400 74,000 11,000 10,800 5,300 55,000 40,000 300,000
Apr-05 1,068,460 497,180 571,280 106,200 12,600 74,000 28,900 61,200 10,600 15,000 8,800 17,600 10,400 29,280 75,000 34,400 2,400 10,800 78,480 12,000 10,400 5,400 55,000 35,000 375,000
May-05 1,097,860 520,000 577,860 105,900 13,000 77,600 43,800 60,400 10,200 15,000 12,400 17,600 10,800 29,600 75,000 36,000 2,300 10,400 84,960 12,000 10,400 5,500 55,000 35,000 375,000
Jun-05 1,112,380 533,300 579,080 107,400 12,200 71,600 53,800 68,800 10,000 15,000 9,600 17,200 11,200 28,800 78,000 36,800 2,500 10,400 85,680 12,000 10,800 5,600 55,000 35,000 375,000
Jul-05 1,142,030 557,830 584,200 108,300 12,400 77,600 55,000 74,800 11,000 15,750 9,200 16,800 11,200 28,480 87,000 37,600 2,700 10,000 90,000 12,000 11,200 6,000 55,000 35,000 375,000
Aug-05 1,118,440 552,640 565,800 109,200 12,800 77,600 60,000 73,600 10,000 15,000 9,200 16,400 11,200 27,840 81,000 36,000 2,400 10,400 72,000 12,000 10,800 6,000 55,000 35,000 375,000
Sep-05 1,146,330 564,830 581,500 116,400 13,000 78,000 59,500 74,400 10,400 17,250 9,200 17,600 11,200 28,480 81,000 36,000 2,400 10,000 86,400 13,000 11,200 5,900 55,000 35,000 375,000
Oct-05 1,163,350 574,550 588,800 119,100 12,400 77,600 60,000 76,800 10,400 18,750 9,600 19,600 11,200 29,600 81,000 36,000 2,500 10,000 93,600 13,000 11,200 6,000 55,000 35,000 375,000
Nov-05 1,130,380 549,760 580,620 120,600 13,000 68,800 55,000 69,600 10,200 15,000 9,600 24,400 10,400 29,760 75,000 36,000 2,000 10,400 87,120 12,000 10,800 5,700 55,000 35,000 375,000
Dec-05 1,162,370 562,750 599,620 123,600 14,000 69,000 57,500 71,200 10,800 14,250 12,400 21,200 10,400 29,600 78,000 36,800 2,400 11,600 105,120 13,000 10,800 5,700 55,000 35,000 375,000
Jan-06 1,160,720 557,100 603,620 118,200 13,800 70,800 57,500 65,600 10,800 15,000 14,400 19,200 10,800 30,400 81,000 36,000 2,400 11,200 108,720 13,000 11,200 5,700 55,000 35,000 375,000

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
Kwacha Cost of Basic Needs in Ndola: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

1,200,000

1,150,000

1,100,000
kwacha

1,050,000

1,000,000

950,000

900,000
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month
Kwacha Cost of Basic Food Items in Ndola: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

600,000

550,000
Kwacha

500,000

450,000
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month
Basic Needs Basket (BNB) for Ndola in US Dollars: 2005

Average Market BNB BNB Food Items Food Items Non-Food Items Non-Food Items
Month Exchange Rate* (Kwacha) (US$) (Kwacha) (US$) (Kwacha) (US$)
Jan-05 4,791.29 988,280 206.27 501,180 104.60 487,100 101.66
Feb-05 4,761.63 1,013,530 212.85 492,230 103.37 521,300 109.48
Mar-05 4,714.36 989,230 209.83 493,130 104.60 496,100 105.23
Apr-05 4,675.18 1,068,460 228.54 497,180 106.34 571,280 122.19
May-05 4,698.99 1,097,860 233.64 520,000 110.66 577,860 122.98
Jun-05 4,696.66 1,112,380 236.84 533,300 113.55 579,080 123.30
Jul-05 4,630.53 1,142,030 246.63 557,830 120.47 584,200 126.16
Aug-05 4,414.01 1,118,440 253.38 552,640 125.20 565,800 128.18
Sep-05 4,448.49 1,146,330 257.69 564,830 126.97 581,500 130.72
Oct-05 4,358.81 1,163,350 266.90 574,550 131.81 588,800 135.08
Nov-05 4,027.39 1,130,380 280.67 549,760 136.51 580,620 144.17
Dec-05 3,428.69 1,162,370 339.01 562,750 164.13 599,620 174.88
Jan-06 3,375.79 1,160,720 343.84 557,100 165.03 603,620 178.81

*Monthly Average Market Exchange Rates collected from the Bank of Zambia's record of Commercial Banks' Weighted Retail
Average Kwacha-US$ mid-rates from 2005 to the present

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
US$ Cost of Basic Needs in Ndola: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

350

340

330

320

310

300

290

280
US$

270

260

250

240

230

220

210

200
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month
US$ Cost of Basic Food Items in Ndola: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

170

160

150

140
US$

130

120

110

100
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month
2005 Basic Needs Basket for Kitwe: The Cost of Essential Food and Non-Food Items for a Family of Six

Basic Food Items Essential Non-Food Items


Basic Needs Basic Food Essential Mealie Meat Veg. Cooking Tea Soap Wash-Soap
Basket Items Non-Food Items Meal Beans Kapenta Dry Fish (Mixed Cut) Eggs (Greens) Tomato Onion Milk Oil Bread Sugar Salt (Leaves) Charcoal (Lifebuoy) (Paste) Jelly Electricity Water Housing
Total Sub-Total Sub-Total 3 x (25 kg 2 Units (20 2x 2 x (90 kg Medium Medium Medium
(Kwacha) (Kwacha) (Kwacha) bags) 2 kgs 2 kgs 1 kg 4 kgs eggs) 7.5 kgs 4 kgs 4 kgs 2 litres (2 litres) 30 loafs 8 kgs 1 kg 500 g bags) 10 tablets 4 x (400 g) 500 mL Density Density Density
Jan-05 973,910 479,210 494,700 105,900 14,000 45,000 26,300 70,000 10,000 12,750 12,800 15,600 10,800 27,360 81,000 37,600 2,100 8,000 75,800 11,000 10,400 5,000 52,500 40,000 300,000
Feb-05 950,510 467,110 483,400 102,600 11,600 52,600 23,500 65,600 10,600 18,750 10,800 10,800 10,400 27,360 81,000 29,600 2,000 9,900 58,600 12,000 11,600 8,700 52,500 40,000 300,000
Mar-05 997,310 469,810 527,500 102,600 10,200 57,600 13,800 65,200 10,400 17,250 6,800 21,600 10,400 27,360 84,000 31,200 2,000 9,400 61,600 12,000 10,800 6,100 50,000 37,000 350,000
Apr-05 996,310 468,010 528,300 102,000 7,800 61,600 14,400 56,400 10,400 18,750 9,600 28,000 10,000 27,360 78,000 32,800 2,000 8,900 61,600 12,000 11,200 6,500 50,000 37,000 350,000
May-05 1,012,390 483,090 529,300 105,600 7,800 67,600 14,400 55,600 10,400 18,750 10,400 28,800 10,400 28,640 81,000 32,800 2,000 8,900 62,600 12,000 11,200 6,500 50,000 37,000 350,000
Jun-05 1,027,150 497,850 529,300 103,500 7,800 67,600 26,300 58,800 10,400 18,750 10,400 29,200 10,800 28,800 81,000 33,600 2,000 8,900 62,600 12,000 11,200 6,500 50,000 37,000 350,000
Jul-05 1,042,990 496,890 546,100 103,500 8,000 67,600 26,300 58,800 10,800 18,750 10,400 28,800 10,400 28,640 81,000 33,600 2,000 8,300 65,000 12,000 11,600 6,500 64,000 37,000 350,000
Aug-05 1,048,890 502,390 546,500 108,600 8,000 67,600 26,300 56,400 10,800 18,750 10,400 28,800 11,200 28,640 81,000 34,400 2,000 9,500 65,000 12,000 12,000 6,500 64,000 37,000 350,000
Sep-05 1,058,590 512,090 546,500 116,700 8,000 67,600 26,300 58,800 10,800 18,750 10,400 28,800 10,400 28,640 81,000 34,400 2,000 9,500 65,000 12,000 12,000 6,500 64,000 37,000 350,000
Oct-05 1,040,140 496,740 543,400 120,600 8,000 57,600 26,300 57,200 10,800 15,000 15,600 20,800 10,400 28,640 81,000 35,200 1,900 7,700 62,600 12,000 11,600 6,200 64,000 37,000 350,000
Nov-05 1,048,080 503,980 544,100 120,600 8,000 67,600 26,300 53,200 11,200 15,000 15,600 20,800 11,200 29,280 78,000 37,600 1,900 7,700 62,600 13,000 12,000 5,500 64,000 37,000 350,000
Dec-05 1,048,540 505,140 543,400 127,500 8,000 57,600 27,800 57,200 10,800 15,000 15,600 20,800 10,400 28,640 81,000 35,200 1,900 7,700 62,600 12,000 11,600 6,200 64,000 37,000 350,000
Jan-06 1,054,640 503,540 551,100 124,200 8,000 57,600 28,300 57,200 10,800 15,000 16,000 20,800 10,400 28,640 81,000 36,000 1,900 7,700 70,000 12,000 11,600 6,500 64,000 37,000 350,000

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
Kwacha Cost of Basic Needs in Kitwe: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

1,100,000

1,050,000
kwacha

1,000,000

950,000

900,000
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month
Kwacha Cost of Basic Food Items in Kitwe: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

550,000
Kwacha

500,000

450,000
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month
Basic Needs Basket (BNB) for Kitwe in US Dollars: 2005

Average Market BNB BNB Food Items Food Items Non-Food Items Non-Food Items
Month Exchange Rate* (Kwacha) (US$) (Kwacha) (US$) (Kwacha) (US$)
Jan-05 4,791.29 973,910 203.27 479,210 100.02 494,700 103.25
Feb-05 4,761.63 950,510 199.62 467,110 98.10 483,400 101.52
Mar-05 4,714.36 997,310 211.55 469,810 99.66 527,500 111.89
Apr-05 4,675.18 996,310 213.11 468,010 100.11 528,300 113.00
May-05 4,698.99 1,012,390 215.45 483,090 102.81 529,300 112.64
Jun-05 4,696.66 1,027,150 218.70 497,850 106.00 529,300 112.70
Jul-05 4,630.53 1,042,990 225.24 496,890 107.31 546,100 117.93
Aug-05 4,414.01 1,048,890 237.63 502,390 113.82 546,500 123.81
Sep-05 4,448.49 1,058,590 237.97 512,090 115.12 546,500 122.85
Oct-05 4,358.81 1,040,140 238.63 496,740 113.96 543,400 124.67
Nov-05 4,027.39 1,048,080 260.24 503,980 125.14 544,100 135.10
Dec-05 3,428.69 1,048,540 305.81 505,140 147.33 543,400 158.49
Jan-06 3,375.79 1,054,640 312.41 503,540 149.16 551,100 163.25

*Monthly Average Market Exchange Rates collected from the Bank of Zambia's record of Commercial Banks' Weighted Retail
Average Kwacha-US$ mid-rates from 2005 to the present

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
US$ Cost of Basic Needs in Kitwe: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

320

310

300

290

280

270

260
US$

250

240

230

220

210

200

190
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month
US$ Cost of Basic Food Items in Kitwe: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

150

140

130
US$

120

110

100

90
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month
2005 Basic Needs Basket for Luanshya: The Cost of Essential Food and Non-Food Items for a Family of Six

Basic Food Items Essential Non-Food Items


Basic Needs Basic Food Essential Mealie Meat Veg. Cooking Tea Soap Wash-Soap
Basket Items Non-Food Items Meal Beans Kapenta Dry Fish (Mixed Cut) Eggs (Greens) Tomato Onion Milk Oil Bread Sugar Salt (Leaves) Charcoal (Lifebuoy) (Paste) Jelly Electricity Water Housing
Total Sub-Total Sub-Total 3 x (25 kg 2 Units (20 2x 2 x (90 kg Medium Medium Medium
(Kwacha) (Kwacha) (Kwacha) bags) 2 kgs 2 kgs 1 kg 4 kgs eggs) 7.5 kgs 4 kgs 4 kgs 2 litres (2 litres) 30 loafs 8 kgs 1 kg 500 g bags) 10 tablets 4 x (400 g) 500 mL Density Density Density
Jan-05 838,410 511,610 326,800 105,600 7,000 77,000 41,300 63,600 12,000 17,250 15,600 19,200 10,400 28,960 72,000 30,400 1,500 9,800 75,600 11,000 10,000 5,200 40,000 35,000 150,000
Feb-05 806,380 489,160 317,220 102,600 8,000 81,000 30,000 60,400 11,000 12,000 13,200 18,800 10,400 28,160 72,000 30,400 1,600 9,600 65,520 11,000 10,400 5,300 40,000 35,000 150,000
Mar-05 804,990 474,010 330,980 101,400 7,200 80,600 22,500 59,600 10,200 9,750 12,000 19,600 10,400 28,160 72,000 30,400 1,600 8,600 60,480 12,000 10,400 5,100 40,000 53,000 150,000
Apr-05 852,390 474,090 378,300 101,400 7,600 84,000 20,000 49,200 10,200 9,750 11,200 24,400 10,400 28,640 72,000 34,400 1,600 9,300 68,400 12,000 10,400 5,500 54,000 53,000 175,000
May-05 878,420 482,280 396,140 103,200 7,800 84,000 21,300 49,200 10,200 10,500 12,800 24,400 10,400 29,280 72,000 34,400 1,600 11,200 64,800 12,000 10,800 5,700 66,000 61,840 175,000
Jun-05 878,440 482,180 396,260 102,000 7,800 84,000 20,000 49,200 10,200 10,500 18,000 22,400 10,800 29,280 72,000 33,600 1,600 10,800 65,520 12,000 10,000 5,900 66,000 61,840 175,000
Jul-05 889,120 497,100 392,020 103,200 9,600 84,000 25,000 49,200 11,800 10,500 21,200 21,600 10,400 28,800 75,000 34,400 1,600 10,800 60,480 12,000 10,800 5,900 66,000 61,840 175,000
Aug-05 894,270 498,250 396,020 105,000 8,600 84,000 21,300 52,800 12,000 14,250 18,400 22,000 10,400 28,000 72,000 34,400 1,900 13,200 64,080 12,000 11,200 5,900 66,000 61,840 175,000
Sep-05 872,620 476,580 396,040 114,600 7,200 84,000 20,000 46,400 10,200 9,000 12,400 17,200 10,000 27,680 72,000 33,600 1,500 10,800 64,800 12,000 10,400 6,000 66,000 61,840 175,000
Oct-05 883,330 484,410 398,920 118,200 7,600 84,000 21,300 48,400 10,200 9,750 12,400 16,800 10,400 28,960 72,000 36,000 1,600 6,800 67,680 12,000 10,400 6,000 66,000 61,840 175,000
Nov-05 893,480 493,540 399,940 124,500 8,200 77,000 20,000 50,800 10,000 15,000 12,400 18,800 10,400 27,840 72,000 36,000 1,600 9,000 68,400 12,000 10,800 5,900 66,000 61,840 175,000
Dec-05 917,870 510,630 407,240 126,000 9,600 84,000 22,500 50,800 10,000 14,250 17,200 19,600 10,400 27,680 72,000 36,000 1,600 9,000 75,600 12,000 10,800 6,000 66,000 61,840 175,000
Jan-06 922,290 512,990 409,300 126,600 12,000 77,000 31,300 54,400 10,600 11,250 15,200 17,600 10,400 27,840 72,000 36,000 1,800 9,000 77,760 12,000 10,800 5,900 66,000 61,840 175,000

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
Kwacha Cost of Basic Needs in Luanshya: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

950,000

900,000
kwacha

850,000

800,000

750,000
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month
Kwacha Cost of Basic Food Items in Luanshya: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

550,000
Kwacha

500,000

450,000
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month
Basic Needs Basket (BNB) for Luanshya in US Dollars: 2005

Average Market BNB BNB Food Items Food Items Non-Food Items Non-Food Items
Month Exchange Rate* (Kwacha) (US$) (Kwacha) (US$) (Kwacha) (US$)
Jan-05 4,791.29 838,410 174.99 511,610 106.78 326,800 68.21
Feb-05 4,761.63 806,380 169.35 489,160 102.73 317,220 66.62
Mar-05 4,714.36 804,990 170.75 474,010 100.55 330,980 70.21
Apr-05 4,675.18 852,390 182.32 474,090 101.41 378,300 80.92
May-05 4,698.99 878,420 186.94 482,280 102.63 396,140 84.30
Jun-05 4,696.66 878,440 187.04 482,180 102.66 396,260 84.37
Jul-05 4,630.53 889,120 192.01 497,100 107.35 392,020 84.66
Aug-05 4,414.01 894,270 202.60 498,250 112.88 396,020 89.72
Sep-05 4,448.49 872,620 196.16 476,580 107.13 396,040 89.03
Oct-05 4,358.81 883,330 202.65 484,410 111.13 398,920 91.52
Nov-05 4,027.39 893,480 221.85 493,540 122.55 399,940 99.31
Dec-05 3,428.69 917,870 267.70 510,630 148.93 407,240 118.77
Jan-06 3,375.79 922,290 273.21 512,990 151.96 409,300 121.25

*Monthly Average Market Exchange Rates collected from the Bank of Zambia's record of Commercial Banks' Weighted Retail
Average Kwacha-US$ mid-rates from 2005 to the present

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
US$ Cost of Basic Needs in Luanshya: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

280

270

260

250

240

230

220
US$

210

200

190

180

170

160

150
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month
US$ Cost of Basic Food Items in Luanshya: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

150

140

130
US$

120

110

100

90
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month
2005 Basic Needs Basket for Kabwe: The Cost of Essential Food and Non-Food Items for a Family of Six

Basic Food Items Essential Non-Food Items


Basic Needs Basic Food Essential Mealie Meat Veg. Cooking Tea Soap Wash-Soap
Basket Items Non-Food Items Meal Beans Kapenta Dry Fish (Mixed Cut) Eggs (Greens) Tomato Onion Milk Oil Bread Sugar Salt (Leaves) Charcoal (Lifebuoy) (Paste) Jelly Electricity Water Housing
Total Sub-Total Sub-Total 3 x (25 kg 2 Units (20 2x 2 x (90 kg Medium Medium Medium
(Kwacha) (Kwacha) (Kwacha) bags) 2 kgs 2 kgs 1 kg 4 kgs eggs) 7.5 kgs 4 kgs 4 kgs 2 litres (2 litres) 30 loafs 8 kgs 1 kg 500 g bags) 10 tablets 4 x (400 g) 500 mL Density Density Density
Jan-05 842,900 424,780 418,120 99,000 10,000 13,000 19,300 62,000 12,000 15,000 18,000 20,400 11,600 26,880 75,000 30,400 1,500 10,700 54,720 12,000 11,200 5,200 50,000 35,000 250,000
Feb-05 859,530 409,930 449,600 101,400 9,400 13,200 16,000 56,400 11,800 15,750 17,200 15,200 11,200 27,680 72,000 30,400 1,500 10,800 52,200 12,000 10,400 5,000 50,000 70,000 250,000
Mar-05 874,750 421,910 452,840 99,600 12,600 13,600 20,400 56,400 11,800 15,750 17,600 15,600 11,200 29,760 75,000 30,400 1,600 10,600 55,440 12,000 10,400 5,000 50,000 70,000 250,000
Apr-05 969,780 465,140 504,640 100,200 15,200 42,600 26,500 59,600 11,000 19,500 18,400 16,000 11,200 29,440 72,000 31,200 1,700 10,600 57,240 12,000 10,400 5,000 50,000 70,000 300,000
May-05 995,420 475,840 519,580 102,000 15,600 41,600 26,000 65,600 10,600 21,000 18,000 16,400 11,200 28,640 75,000 32,000 1,700 10,500 56,880 12,000 10,800 4,900 60,000 75,000 300,000
Jun-05 968,630 486,330 482,300 103,800 14,600 41,600 26,000 68,000 11,000 21,750 17,600 18,000 11,600 29,280 75,000 36,000 1,600 10,500 54,000 13,000 10,400 4,900 70,000 30,000 300,000
Jul-05 981,410 494,710 486,700 105,600 15,800 42,800 25,600 70,800 10,600 21,750 18,400 18,400 11,600 28,960 72,000 40,000 1,900 10,500 59,400 12,000 10,400 4,900 70,000 30,000 300,000
Aug-05 991,300 504,800 486,500 113,100 16,000 43,200 25,800 71,600 10,400 21,000 18,400 19,600 11,200 28,000 75,000 39,200 1,800 10,500 57,600 13,000 10,400 5,500 70,000 30,000 300,000
Sep-05 993,120 506,680 486,440 115,500 16,000 43,200 25,800 71,200 10,400 21,000 19,200 18,800 11,200 27,680 75,000 39,200 1,900 10,600 57,240 13,000 10,800 5,400 70,000 30,000 300,000
Oct-05
Nov-05
Dec-05
Jan-06 917,140 444,760 472,380 118,200 10,600 60,000 17,000 49,600 10,000 7,500 7,200 10,000 10,000 25,760 72,000 36,000 1,900 9,000 44,280 12,000 10,800 5,300 70,000 30,000 300,000

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
Kwacha Cost of Basic Needs in Kabwe: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

1,050,000

1,000,000

950,000
kwacha

900,000

850,000

800,000
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month
Kwacha Cost of Basic Food Items in Kabwe: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

500,000
Kwacha

450,000

400,000
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month
Basic Needs Basket (BNB) for Kabwe in US Dollars: 2005

Average Market BNB BNB Food Items Food Items Non-Food Items Non-Food Items
Month Exchange Rate* (Kwacha) (US$) (Kwacha) (US$) (Kwacha) (US$)
Jan-05 4,791.29 842,900 175.92 424,780 88.66 418,120 87.27
Feb-05 4,761.63 859,530 180.51 409,930 86.09 449,600 94.42
Mar-05 4,714.36 874,750 185.55 421,910 89.49 452,840 96.06
Apr-05 4,675.18 969,780 207.43 465,140 99.49 504,640 107.94
May-05 4,698.99 995,420 211.84 475,840 101.26 519,580 110.57
Jun-05 4,696.66 968,630 206.24 486,330 103.55 482,300 102.69
Jul-05 4,630.53 981,410 211.94 494,710 106.84 486,700 105.11
Aug-05 4,414.01 991,300 224.58 504,800 114.36 486,500 110.22
Sep-05 4,448.49 993,120 223.25 506,680 113.90 486,440 109.35
Oct-05 4,358.81 - - -
Nov-05 4,027.39 - - -
Dec-05 3,428.69 - - -
Jan-06 3,375.79 917,140 271.68 444,760 131.75 472,380 139.93

*Monthly Average Market Exchange Rates collected from the Bank of Zambia's record of Commercial Banks' Weighted Retail
Average Kwacha-US$ mid-rates from 2005 to the present

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection


Social Conditions Research Project
email: socialjctr@jesuits.org.zm
tel: 260-1-290410
fax: 260-1-290759
US$ Cost of Basic Needs in Kabwe: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

280

270

260

250

240

230
US$

220

210

200

190

180

170
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month
US$ Cost of Basic Food Items in Kabwe: 2005
(Based Upon the JCTR Basic Needs Basket for a Family of Six)

140

130

120
US$

110

100

90

80
Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06
Month