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Nairobians sleeping hungry as cost of living soars

A fifth of Nairobi county residents sleep on a hungry stomach, a new survey released at the weekend has revealed.

The research by Ipsos Synovate indicated that high costs of living and inflation had pushed citizens to stretch their incomes beyond limit to go round the month.

Things are not looking up as fuel prices went up last month — affecting many other item and service costs. 

Kerosene, that was going for Sh83 a litre is Sh84 while petrol now goes Sh113 up from Sh111. Diesel has gone up to Sh105.80. 

To add insult to injury, the Ministry of Agriculture has warned of impeding maize shortage from May due to low harvests in the last season. This will mean higher prices for maize flour. 

Poverty rates

Nairobi has a population of slightly over three million and almost half of the residents live in the slums where the poverty rates are highest. 

Taking the example of housewife Elizabeth Njoka’s budget, it is easy to see how many Nairobians could end up sleeping hungry.

Mrs Njoki lives in Kibera with her three children and husband in Kibera. Her husband earns Sh12,000 a month and is the sole breadwinner for the family. The housewife said she had mastered the art of surviving the tough way.

She spends not more than Sh200 on food and fuel and sometimes forced to take commodities on credit, “I have to be creative, I have to be friends with mama mboga (green grocer) so that I can borrow when I have no money.