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High cost of living chokes Kenyans’ savings

By Winnie Onyando September 17th, 2023 2 min read

The anthem of the high cost of living in Kenya has turned into a recurring tune, carrying a sense of bitterness and staleness, inducing fear and diminishing hope for the future as financial difficulties continue to mount.

Numerous Kenyan households have been forced to adopt frugal measures as they navigate their lives on a day-to-day basis, with a balanced diet becoming a luxury that only a few can afford.

The focus has shifted solely to the availability of sustenance, regardless of its nutritional value.

Despite the conclusion of recent protests against the high cost of living, a harsh reality has descended upon the majority of Kenyan citizens, delivering a heavy blow.

The recent increase in fuel prices to unprecedented levels which has greatly affected the cost of various commodities in the country has also added more pain to citizens.

Analysts have pointed out that a majority of Kenyans now depend on one meal a day to survive as the cost of commodities such as maize flour, cooking oil, and sugar surge.

“My aspiration is to provide the best life for my children, yet I find myself struggling to explain the prevailing changes. Eggs used to be a staple in our family, especially for breakfast, but now even a simple egg comes at a steep price. Bread has become a constant breakfast choice for my children due to its affordability,” says Jane Akinyi, a resident.

On the other hand, George Mutua says, “While I used to prioritize saving, life has become unbearable. Each month, there’s barely anything left to save. Family demands and soaring expenses have compelled me to constantly reevaluate.”

The persistently high commodity prices have left many Kenyans resorting to redefining their survival strategies.
As they cut back on spending, the repercussions extend beyond individual households, affecting businesses and contributing to broader economic challenges.

The culture of savings among Kenyan citizens has dwindled, with their income predominantly channeled towards essential food items.

A nation in which its populace struggles to save is inevitably headed toward deeper debt.

Urgent solutions are required to address this pressing concern, even as negotiations continue, aiming to place a resolution on the table that has remained elusive thus far.

President William Ruto has consistently informed Kenyans that the current financial challenges are a temporary matter.

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