Bread now a luxury in Kenya as cost of living soars
Kenyans have ranked high cost of living as the most pressing problem facing them in the latest survey released by Synovate research company yesterday.
In the survey covering the month of April to July 66 per cent of Kenyans said high commodity prices was the most pressing matter affecting them. A sample of 2,000 respondents was interviewed.
In April 33 percent of Kenyans sampled said high cost of living was the most serious problem. The figure has doubled in July.
The main drivers of the high cost of living according to the survey is maize and high fuel prices.
The cost of maize has risen from sh2,000 in April to sh4,000 in July. This has seen the price of maize flour a staple food among Kenyans rise from sh40 to about sh80 this month.
Already the civil society has gone to the streets and demanded the reduction in the price of unga(maize flour). Government which had earlier denied a report by The Star newspaper which first reported the shortage.
The price of fuel has continued to rise despite government intervention. A litre of petrol now sells at sh115 up from sh104 in April. But the cost of Kerosene and diesel has remained relatively stable after government waived tax to cushion consumers.
Cooking oil is slowing becoming a luxury commodity in the country with double increase in price. A litre of cooking oil now retails at sh210 up from sh110 in April. This is an increase of 100% in three months.
Most families can no longer afford bread which Synovate survey says it has seen an increase of about sh10. Bread now retails at sh40 a price that is beyond majority of Kenyans who live below a dollar a day.
The new survey comes at a time when the world focus is on Kenya following hunger in Northern Kenya and the Horn of Africa.