OUT OF TOUCH?

Public decry high cost of living despite government’s fancy inflation data

We need to take those government officials to where we buy our sugar and flour to sync with reality. They are either out of touch or simply ignorant,’’ Mulwa said.

In Summary
  • The food and non alcoholic drinks index decreased by 040 per cent
  • Dinah Messo 45 year old mother of three told the Star that the cost of living has been rising despite her monthly wage remaining constant
A shopper leaves Naivas Supermarket, Hazina on August 10,2017. / FILE
A shopper leaves Naivas Supermarket, Hazina on August 10,2017. / FILE

The annual inflation rate in Kenya declined to 3.83 per cent in September 2019, its lowest since April last year, from five per cent in the previous month.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics yesterday attributed the drop to favorable weather conditions that signaled decrease in some food stuffs especially vegetables outweighing increases recorded in others.

The food and non alcoholic drinks index decreased by 040 per cent, pushing the year on year food inflation from 7.13 per cent in August to 6.31 per cent last month.

 

Even so, households were forced to dig deeper in pockets to afford some basic needs in September compared to the previous month, once again putting to question government figures on the cost of living and reality on the ground.

Dinah Messo 45 year old mother of three told the Star that the cost of living has been rising despite her monthly wage remaining constant for past three years.

‘’Where do the government get ridiculous opinions about drop inflation? My Sh20,000 wage per month can barely take me to mid month like before. The cost of living is unbearable,’’ Messo said.

Her sentiments are echoed by Job Mulwa, a fruit vendor along Nairobi’s Waiyaki Way.

‘’We need to take those government officials to where we buy our sugar and flour to sync with reality. They are either out of touch or simply ignorant,’’ Mulwa said.

For instance, both a kilo of loose maize grain and maize flour rose from Sh47.58 in July to Sh48.02 and Sh53.39 to Sh53.90 respectively.

Households bought a kilo of Sukumawiki (kale) at Sh38.11 during the month under review compared to Sh37.19 in August.

 

During the same period, the cost of housing, water electricity, gas and other fuels rose by 0.07 per cent. Monthly rent for one room was at Sh4515.54 compared to Sh4496.38 in August.

Even so, prices for some vegetables like dropped significantly, pushing down the overall inflation.

A kilo of cabbage for instance retailed for Sh40.52 during the month from Sh43.26, a kilo of onion was bought at Sh93.93 compared to Sh97.74 in August while that of tomatoes shrunk by almost Sh5 to Sh86.44.