The Steep Rising Cost Of Living In Kenya-
Jambo Kenya group!
I am sure all of us Kenyans have felt the bite of the rising cost of living in Kenya, at least in one way or the other. I don't mean literally all Kenyans- some have not. Oh alright everybody has felt it since even the multi-millionares are stuck in jams as the motorists scrumble to get fuel.
I am curious to hear your own experience and that of the communities around you.
The cost of living has gone high, and income not increased. Salaries remain low, as the cost of certain goods go up by as much as 200 per cent or higher in less than 6 months.One example here is maize and it's products, which is the staple food in Kenya..
Now there is shortage of fuel that cannot be explained. Many can't make it to work in good time due to this. The transport industry has hiked the cost of transportation by at least 50%. Many Kenyans are now forced to wake up as early as 4:00am so they can begin the trek to make it to work by eight.
Commercial sex work is on the rise in Nairobi streets and pubs. This is due to having no options for the women. Children have to eat at the end of the day. Most families now only take a single meal, supper after a light breakfast of black tea and a slice or two of plain bread. Sometimes it is porridge and sometimes none.
Taxes on maize, kerosene and diesel which are majorly used in Kenya were reduced. I am yet to know this from my part of the country as today the price of maize meal has gone higher by another 10 Kenya Shillings. It goes at 110.
On the 1st of May, Kenyans expected a fair raise of salaries to make them manage the cost of living to some extent. To everybody's surprise, 12.5 % was given and only for minimum wages. Now chief of COTU- Central Organization Of Trade Unions, has issued a warning, either yo get a pay rise of 60% or Kenyan workers strike! The organization cries for the Government's failure to heed its cry to raise salaries. COTU also said it has handed over an economic paper to the office of the prime minister and that of finance, reflecting the performance of every sector of the economy to justify their demands, but the government has remained noncommittal
I just interviewed my neighbour, Veronicah, whose husband lives with a disibilty, and who earns a living through washing clothes for people in the neighbourhood. She said,, "I only get work one or two days in a week. People have resorted to work for themselves," she continues to say that she lives on boiled vegetable as she cannot any more afford the cost of cooking oil or spices. Living with AIDS, this is a double tragedy for her. Not sufficient food for her and her family.
This only echoes the plight of the majority of Kenyans. Even those with "normal" earnings have been hard hit and are pressing harder for a raise in salaries. The most affected right now are the low income earners.
How can we address this? For those of us who are unemployed, employed and those in business? I would like to hear your views and borrow leaves to make it better. Right now Kenyans continue to suffer. Towards which direction does our country walk?
Siku njema iliyojaa uvumilivu ne heri.