Many narrators describe a number of different means they employ to survive. Charcoal burning, petty trading, beer brewing, growing and selling vegetables, carpentry, bicycle repair, brick making, and agricultural or domestic piecework are all cited.
The value of joining savings clubs and other community groups is also mentioned, mostly by women, although some have not had entirely positive experiences.
Utrina points out that the effectiveness and cooperative nature of these groups is limited by people’s extreme poverty and the need at times to focus solely on their own survival.
Ruth, a single mother, outlines a variety of occupations that she has tried in order to feed herself and her son, including brewing beer.
Anna explains that although charcoal making is bad for the environment, people do it because they are hungry and unemployed and have no other options.