Name: Chakana Dagnoko
Location: Yirimadjo, Bamako
Does your spouse/partner live with you? No.
What is your primary job? Mechanic.
What is your monthly salary? $120 when I get my salary. from $100
What is your household’s total income - including your partner’s salary, and any additional same sources? Uncle sends $100 every three months.
How many people are living in your household - what is their relationship to you? Brother.
How many are dependent on you/your partner's income - what is their relationship to you? Brother and mother - both partially dependent.
How much do you spend each month on food? $60
What is your main staple - how much does it cost each month? Rice. $60 for a bag of rice.
How much do you spend on rent? $40
How much on transport? Other? $25 on electricity and water.
How much do you spend on educating your children each month? I don’t have children.
After you have paid all your bills each month, how much is left? It depends.
Have you or any member of the household been forced to skip meals or reduce portion sizes in the last three months? If I don’t have enough, I am careful about what I eat, yes.
Have you been forced to borrow money (or food) in the last three months to cover basic household needs? No, though I rely on my uncle’s handouts.
“My situation hasn’t changed much since we last spoke. I am still working in the same garage. The boss has been given contracts to work on the new airport and to work on construction of the new Bamako-Ségou Road, so our workload has gone up. And, though it’s not a lot, my salary’s gone up by 10,000 CFA francs [US$20].
“I finally got engaged, but the lucky lady is in Sikasso [a city 380km from Bamako], because my parents decided that was best. She’ll come to live with me in Bamako once we’re married. We haven’t set a date - I’ll have to save a lot of money to do it. I’m still renting a single room for $30 per month, and I spend around $2 per day on food. I always manage to make ends meet, covering my mother’s and my own expenses - it’s not easy.
"I was looking for a more interesting job with a better salary, but I haven’t found anything yet. My uncle [in the United States] hasn’t come through yet with a plan. He told me to wait a bit longer as he’s having money troubles. So, I still have hope."
"I pray to God every day that nothing bad happens to me."