Je ni kweli mafisadi ndo chanzo cha gharama kubwa ya maisha? Na je tunajifunza nini kutoka kwa wenzetu hawa? Na je ni kweli kinachoongelewa ktk majukwaa ndiyo sababu ama kuna kitu pembeni cha ziada? Kwa vile hua tunapenda kunukuu ya wenzetu ngoja namimi ni nukuu haka ka habari. Kenyans pay 25 per cent more for food SHARE BOOKMARKPRINTEMAILRATING As debate rages over the rising cost of living, the true picture of how Kenyans are paying through the nose to put food on the table is emerging. By LUKE MULUNDA, firstname.lastname@example.org Posted Wednesday, April 20 2011 at 21:08 As debate rages over the rising cost of living, the true picture of how Kenyans are paying through the nose to put food on the table is emerging. Comparative calculation of the rise in prices of basic commodities shows an average 25 per cent jump in their cost between January 1 and Wednesday afternoon, further squeezing households budgets that are running on falling incomes or stagnant salaries. RELATED STORIES Kalonzo urges patience over cost of living Life has become too expensive, and no one is spared Food, fuel prices top Kenyan fears Consumer group calls for protest against rising prices Kenya parliament to debate price rise Economically speaking, this means from the model low-income budget of Sh3,000 in January, a household is spending Sh750 more to buy the same quantity and quality of items. It gets even more painful for the middle and high-class categories of consumers who spend more on classy items that have been affected by a weak shilling. Going by the average 25 per cent rise, a wealthy person who spends Sh100,000 ends up paying an extra Sh25,000 to buy the same. This is the highest rise in the cost of basic commodities in the shortest time since the post-election violence in early 2008, when a shortage in consumer goods caused inflation as desperate households rushed for limited supplies. Between January and April 20, the price of sugar, one of the widely used commodities by households, rose from an average of Sh150 to Sh190. The difference of Sh40 can buy a packet of tea leaves or a packet of milk and salt. According to calculations by the Consumer Federation of Kenya, commissioned by the Daily Nation, the price of bread shot up by Sh5 to Sh40, while tea leaves and milk went up by Sh10 and Sh5 respectively over the period. For breakfast alone which entails milk, sugar, tea leaves and a loaf of bread Kenyans are spending an extra Sh55 minus the cost of cooking. Add the record-high fuel prices at Sh111 per litre of petrol in Nairobi and life gets complicated for commuters and motorists. Even figures from Central Bank have pointed to life getting bumpier for Kenyans, with the latest figures showing inflation rising from to 9.17 in early April. Inflation rate, which measures the general increase in prices of a basket of commodities and services, has been on the rise from October last years figure at just over 3 per cent. There has been concern that while the cost of living is soaring, incomes remain constant for most people, and where they increased like for salaried workers, it is often below the inflation rate. Now economists say the current crisis has been caused by lack of planning on the part of government and an influx of politics in policy implementation. One of the causes of the current situation is the crisis in North Africa. The government knew about the crisis in November last year, says Mr James Shikwati, the director of Inter-Region Economic Network (Iren), a think-tank based in Nairobi. It should not pretend. The government on Monday yielded to public pressure, when Treasury reduced excise duty levied on kerosene and diesel by 30 and 20 per cent respectively to check increasing food and fuel prices. But experts say this wont bring the much-needed relief. Reduction of tax wont change much, Mr Shikwati said. Discipline is needed at Treasury on expenditure to reduce government spending. People are talking about unga (maize meal) and the government needs to come up with ways to help them get more unga. The price of the 2kg packet of maize floor has increased by an average of Sh8 between January and February, from Sh75 to Sh93, hitting many homes as ugali is a staple food consumed at both lunch and dinner tables.