Earlier today Kenyans united in the streets of Nairobi in protest of the cost of living – with costs rising more than, ever this protest has been months in the making. Essential household goods such as cooking oil and flour, more and more Kenyans are being left in financial dismay. This has been a hot topic for many as the country begins to prepare for the upcoming election – the question many want to know is ‘when is this issue going to be addressed and how?’.
This week BBC released an interview with stall worker Florence Kambua, who stated that her children love rice and that she “would go with 50 shillings [to the shop] and get half a kilo of rice and cook for them. Now, you cannot”. Cost of living is not just negatively impacting just one but many – with food inflation 12.4% higher than last year. Currently, cooking oil is averaging a sale price of Sh407, up from Sh350 – an unsustainable rise projected to only get worse.
Protestors addressed the media stating that leaders have failed the nation and continue to use the conflict occurring in Russia/Ukraine as the reason behind this issue. Although this can be argued to be true to an extent, what can be seen statistically is that these price changes have not happened overnight.
With the looming election, the discourse surrounding whether or not leaders are presenting empty promises or actual solutions continues. What can be said, however, is that this protest is evidence of a united feeling across the nation.