By Bedah Mengo NAIROBI (Xinhua)
Fast-rising inflation is forcing an increasing number of
Kenyan families to skip meals or practice food
Kenya has hit 57-month high of 11.5 percent, pushed up
by soaring prices of basic commodities.
None of the
food items used daily by ordinary Kenyans have been
spared, with the cost of sugar, vegetables, house rent,
potatoes, cooking gas, onions, tomatoes, rice and
electricity nearly doubling.
families are, therefore, squeezed by the high commodity
prices as incomes stagnate and job losses rise.
annoying thing about the prices is that they are rising
each day. The other day I went to a supermarket and
bought a 2-kg pack of sugar at 2.7 dollars. I returned
after a week to stock the product for a rainy day only
to find the cost had hit 2.9 dollars,” said Nairobi
resident Annabel Wanguche, a mother of four.
primary school teacher, said she did away with milk some
three months ago when prices started to shoot up and her
children are now used to tea without milk.
meal, I have switched to buying maize from the posho
mill and grinding it there but still that is expensive.
I now ensure I cook ugali that the children can eat and
finish at a meal and it is only once a day, not twice as
they used to eat,” she said.
and sugar, meat has also become a luxury in many homes
as a kilo hits 4.3 dollars in the capital Nairobi.
even remember when I last ate meat in my house, perhaps
last year because all I do these days is to buy offals (matumbo)
for my family. A kilo goes at half the price of meat,”
said Samson Kuria, a government worker.
The cost of
maize flour, consumed by over 80 percent of Kenyan
families, has shot up by 31 percent, going for between
1.2 dollars and 2 dollars per 2-kg packet.
other hand, has hit 0.68 dollars per 500-ml packet, up
from 0.53 dollars some weeks ago with most families
doing away with the commodity in their meals.
The cost of
a 2-kg packet of sugar, equally, has risen considerably
now going at 2.9 dollars from 2.5 dollars over a week
ago, a survey in retail outlets in Nairobi Thursday
hit are poor families, especially those living in
Kenya’s slums, where households can barely afford most
commodities, including water.
tough for many families in slums. A lot of them are
going hungry because they can not afford many items. I
know of many families that are now having one meal a
day,” said Susan Wanjiru, a social worker in Korogocho
slum in Nairobi.
warn Kenyan families of tough times ahead, noting that
inflation would continue to rise in the coming months
due to depressed rains, rising oil prices, weak shilling
upward inflationary pressures to persist in the first
half of 2017 due to persistent drought that is to carry
on for the first half of the year, the global recovery
of oil prices spurring cost-push inflation, the
weakening shilling due to global strengthening of the
dollar, which will lead to an increase in the cost of
imports, and given this is an electioneering period, we
expect an increase in money supply due to campaign
money,” said Cytonn, a Nairobi-based investment firm.