Monday, July 14, 2008

Urban and Rural Poverty

One of the most striking contrasts of the recent trip to Zambia was the difference between urban and rural poverty. We spent a week in the country travelling by rough roads and walking between small villages and farms. Though people were obviously doing it tough and both drought and disease had devastating consequences, there was a genuine sense of community that was tempting to romanticise. This tendency increased in comparison to the urban slum areas that we visited in the second week. Here people also struggled to survive, but with almost no option to grow their own food they had to rely on any other means possible to get by.

In the city people relied on cashflow to exist, but in the country they seemed to rely more on each other. I was struck by the contrast between a 'people economy' and a 'cash economy' - which is more important in the society we live in?

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