Kenyans should prepare themselves for the increase in prices for basic commodities especially food during this month unless the government steps in to ease the situation.
Already Kenyans have been paying through the nose for such commodities as maize flour and milk with analysts saying the situation is likely to worsen.
A 2-kilogram packet of maize flour increased by 30 percent from 87 shillings to around 109 and 130 shillings. A packet of milk that was retailing at 50 shillings is going between 55 and 58 shillings attributable to the “prolonged drought.”
With the hiking of fuel prices, manufacturers of basic commodities are likely to transfer the extra cost to the consumer leading to an increase in prices.
On Tuesday, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) reviewed fuel prices upwards with a liter of super petrol going up by 5.43 shillings while that of diesel and kerosene spiking by 2.24 and 2.40 shillings.
Those in Nairobi are now paying 112.03 shillings for a liter of super petrol, 104.37 shillings for diesel and 104.62 shillings for kerosene.
The increase in fuel prices is likely to affect the transport sector. Bus fares are likely to increase as motorists try to minimize the costs and maximize their earnings from passengers.
Inflation for the month of May is also likely to be higher than what has been predicted by market analysis. The prices of fuel and food often play a major role in determining the rate of inflation.
Increased food prices
Kenyans across the country have been struggling to make ends meet due to the skyrocketing food prices especially maize. The price of a 90-kilogram bag of maize is retailing at an average of 3,400 shillings across the country, up from just 2,000 shillings.
Residents of Bungoma County are paying an average of 80 and 90 shillings for a 2-kilogram tin of dry maize, up from an average of between 40 and 50 shillings three months ago.
Ugali consumers in Kakamega County are paying between 100 and 105 shillings for a 2-kilogram tin of maize, up from just 55 shillings three months ago. The prices are set to increase as maize continues to become scarce.
The delay in long rains contributed to the increase in prices of foodstuffs. Most of the farmers have not planted meaning the harvests for this season are set to drop drastically.