TOUGH GOING

Joblessness, high kerosene prices fuel corona pain in households

In Summary
  • At least 1.7 million Kenyans who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic
  • Transport index rose by 2.1 per cent, pushing up commodity prices
Shoppers at Budget supermarket Mombasa , many have flocked at various supermarkets as commodity prices hikes .photo Elkana Jacob
Shoppers at Budget supermarket Mombasa , many have flocked at various supermarkets as commodity prices hikes .photo Elkana Jacob

High fuel cost has added pain to households grappling with the economic effects of the coronavirus, further pushing up the cost of living on empty wallets.

Even so, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics retained the year on year inflation in August at 4.36, the same rate as in July.

Although food and non-alcoholic drinks index decreased by 1.01 per cent, high fuel prices pushed up the Consumer Price Index, which measures the percentage change in the price of a basket of goods and services consumed by households.

 
 

The pump price for super petrol has increased by Sh3.47 per litre in the latest review by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority.

That of diesel and kerosene has also increased by Sh2.76 and Sh18.20 per litre respectively.

This saw the overall cost of transport index rise by 2.1 per cent, pushing up commodity prices as traders passed the bill to consumers.

Bus fare has been one of the biggest cost increments due to the Covid-19 restrictions. To deal with the reduced passenger numbers in every vehicle due to the social distance requirements, players in the public transport sector raised fare by at least 50 per cent.

According to government data for the first six months of the year, there has been a 51.7 per cent increase in the cost of transport in the country.

Most breadwinners have either lost jobs, taken a pay cut, or are on unpaid leave. Those in business have either closed or are witnessing reduced sales.

A KNBS report shows that the rate of joblessness doubled between April and June to 10.4 per cent from 5.2 per cent in the same period last year.

 

KNBS’s second quarter Labour Force Report shows the number of unemployed increased to 4,637,164 between April and June compared to 2,329,176 in the same period last year.

This mean, 1.7 million Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lack of income has seen a third of households in Kenya unable to pay rent on the date agreed with the house owner.

The survey by the statistician found that at least 21.5 per cent of the households who usually paid rent on the agreed dates breached the agreement.