Working Lives: Maputo

WATCH: Working Lives Maputo: Ramos Saide talks about his life as a builder in Mozambique's capital.

As the Mozambique middle class grows along with the economy, so does the desire of people to build homes.

Self-taught builder, Ramos Saide, is doing his best to profit from the boom.

Mozambique Direct branding graphic

Word of mouth gets Ramos most of his work, but with mortgages rare in Mozambique, his work is dependent on his customers' cash flow.

"We work, we stop, we work again, it has to be like that," he says as he plasters the interior of a half-built house with a sizeable garden.

But even when Ramos is working, he earns just seven dollars (£4.60) a day. It's just enough to support his wife and teenage son on the outskirts of the city.

However, his building skills have brought another benefit, his own home.

It may be small, modest and made of breeze blocks, but Ramos is proud of the neatly-kept, simple house. He's lucky to have electricity and running water too, something only half of the population enjoy.

Ramos has also successfully negotiated the complex bureaucracy that issues building permits. The government owns all land in the country, and only allows building on leased land.

"I got this space and to get it, it's not easy," he says ruefully.

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