Kenya has already started feeling the heat of the ongoing drought with the widespread scarcity of water, worsening food shortage and spiking of prices for basic agricultural commodities.
According to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Kenya is going to face the worst drought in 38 years.
The long rains have failed, the planting season has passed and the agency says that about 541,309 children under the age of 5 in Kenya are at the risk of acute malnutrition due to hunger.
The ongoing drought had led to an instant increase in the prices of commodities especially food crops such as vegetables and cereals.
The price of greens and fruits just moved out of reach for most Kenyan households. For instance, in most parts of Nairobi, three leaves of Sukumawiki are going for 10 shillings while two leaves of Spinach are going for a similar amount of 10 shillings.
Currently, a family of 5 needs at least 100 shillings to purchase enough Sukumawiki that will be visible enough on a plate. Even as prices skyrocket, traders are finding it difficult to find the product with some having to travel to neighboring Tanzania for the same.
“A time is coming when we shall have money but with nothing to buy,” says one random buyer.
The price of a Cabbage that used to retail between 30 and 50 shillings is now going for between 100 and 120 shillings on wholesale. This has prompted traders who have been selling the same in small parts of between 10 to 20 shillings to increase their prices to a minimum of 30 shillings.
The price of milk has also increased. Kenyans are paying 55 shillings for a packet of milk that was just 50 shillings a month ago. Bread manufacturers are also considering increasing the price of bread with the impending shortage of “the raw material.”