In a staggering turn of events, the prices of matumbo (offal) and paraffin, staples for low-income earners, have surged to unprecedented levels, delivering a devastating blow to impoverished households.
A kilogram of matumbo, previously priced at Ksh180, has skyrocketed to an astounding Ksh250, marking a 39 percent surge.
This sharp price escalation has been traced back to a severe shortage of cattle supply and a concurrent rise in fuel costs, which has inflicted a harsh blow on transportation networks.
The present surge in matumbo prices, as reported by industry experts and butchers interviewed by Business Day Africa, is the most dramatic in the past decade.
“We are grappling with inadequate supply, and the limited stock available comes at a premium due to the escalating transportation expenses,” lamented a butcher at the Burma Meat Market in Nairobi.
Though experts argue that matumbo has no nutritional value, poor households incorporate it in their diet as an alternative source of proteins.
This price escalation comes at a time when kerosene costs have also experienced a significant upturn over the past two months, following a comprehensive review by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA).
A liter of kerosene now fetches Ksh205, effectively placing it on par with diesel, both commanding the same price point.
Kerosene has long been the favoured choice for cooking and illumination among low-income households due to its budget-friendly nature.
EPRA revised pump prices to levels not seen before in the country, amid a public outcry.
The repercussions of soaring fuel costs are poised to resonate throughout multiple sectors, triggering upward pressures on manufacturing, electricity production, and various service providers.
As these industries grapple with this new economic reality, a corresponding inflation surge looms large. Inflation, which had been experiencing a subdued trend in recent months, is now hurtling towards an ominous inevitability.
Kenya’s critical economic indicator, the inflation rate, breached the 6.7 percent mark in August and surged even further to 6.9 percent in September.
This alarming shift can be attributed to the escalating costs of both fuel and essential food commodities, according to data released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.
The economic landscape in Kenya faces turbulent times as low-income earners battle the crushing weight of skyrocketing basic commodities.