Friday, July 08, 2005

Rags despite riches

A UN report gives a sense of life in Arhiba, a squatter community of DJIBOUTI CITY, capital of a country that's rich on paper and poor in reality.

Here's a horrific statistic: "A hard day's labour at the port - heaving 50 kg bags of food aid in sweltering heat - earns a labourer around 500 Djiboutian francs, about $2.80. A bed in room shared with 10 other people in Arhiba costs 10 times that each month." In other words, a bed in a shared room in a squalid squatter community costs 1/3 of a workingman's monthly income. At rents like that, having your own room is simply beyond your wildest dreams. Talk about a housing market that's out of whack.

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