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Hargeisa Urban Household Economy Assessment,
SOURCES OF INCOME
Within each wealth group, there is a wide range of income sources. Some information from the household economy assessment will be summarised in this section, and more detail will be provided in the following section on the sectoral inventory.
Members of active very poor and poor households are generally involved in the following income-generating activities:
-- Women are usually engaged in small-scale petty trade (vegetable, milk, prepared food sales). Profit rates per day depend on the capital with which the woman works, or the amount that she is loaned per day by her supplier. The overall range of profits for this wealth group is generally SlSh 5-10,000 per day, with `very poor' women at the lower end of the range and `poor' women at the upper end. Women engaged in petty trade generally work every day of the week.
-- An alternative income source for women in these wealth groups is casual work on a daily basis, usually cleaning, sweeping or washing clothes for middle and better off households and businesses.
-- Men are usually engaged in casual, unskilled labour (in the construction sector or market portering) or in low-paying self-employment (donkey carts and wheelbarrows). Construction work generally pays SlSh 15-20,000 per day but the frequency of work is quite variable. Less successful men work only about 10 days per month, while more successful men can find up to 25 days per month.11 Casual work is considered to be less regular than women's petty trade activities and is often not initially mentioned as a source of household income for this reason. Portering, donkey carts, and wheelbarrow transport generate about SlSh 10-15,000 per day in net income, usually for most days of the month.
-- Some men are employed at low wages. For example, bus drivers earn about SlSh 25,000 per day, while their conductors earn SlSh 10-15,000 per day. Assistants in small shops and restaurants also fall into this category, usually at the top end of the `poor' group.
-- Children only work in the poorest households, often where adult labour is lacking. Boys are often engaged in shoe shining, while girls do cleaning or domestic work. A shoe shine boy earns about SlSh 3-5,000 per day, while a domestic servant earns SlSh 70-100,000 per month, plus all meals.
-- Gifts are a common source of both food and cash income for very poor and poor households. Usually these are not remittances from abroad, but rather gifts from local relatives or neighbours. Gifts of cash income about SlSh 100,000 (US $15) per household per month were frequently mentioned for poor households.
In most active very poor and poor households, two members of the family are earning an income in one way or another. Usually these are the parents, but in some cases a child and an adult work. While one income might be reasonably regular (e.g. petty trading every day), the other is usually irregular (e.g. unskilled construction labour). Other surveys have indicated that poor households usually have only one income source, but this may be because `gifts' and `irregular' income sources are not included.
The `middle' forms a large group and includes a variety of income sources, including:
-- Skilled labour (e.g. masons and carpenters), which generates about SlSh 50-70,000 per day.
-- Mid-level employment in the government, NGOs and other organisations, and in private sector companies.
-- Mid-level petty trade (including khat, clothes and larger quantities of vegetables and milk).
-- Remittances, which are most common for this wealth group. Indeed, some households within this group rely solely on remittances from relatives living abroad.
The better off and rich include households that are involved in large-scale businesses (including import/export and shops of various types) and senior employees. This group has often invested its money in property and in vehicles (including taxis, buses and trucks) that are now generating additional household income.