Kenyans in Busia have resulted to crossing the border to Uganda to buy essential sugar and unga due to the increased food prices in Kenya.
A new report shows that items like maize, flour, milk and sugar have become hot commodities for Kenyans in the region neighboring the country.
Shops in Busia on the Ugandan side sell a kilo of sugar for KSh 80 compared to the KSh 200 price tag in Kenya. A kilo of maize flour is being sold at KSh 100 whereas in Kenya it goes for KSh 160.
The increase in the prices of commodities follows the warning by the National Drought Management Authority in February which said the ongoing drought would make Kenyans pay more for food.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics backed up the claim with data showing the cost of selected food items rising by 1.66 percent in January from 1.31 percent in December last year.
“We can’t afford essential commodities in Kenya and that is why we have been forced to cross over to Uganda, where the items are affordable,” said a Busia resident.
Busia Businessmen Association chairman Stephen Obala has called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to consider recalling Parliament to deliberate on how to reduce the high cost of essential food items. He also urged the national government to reintroduce price controls to stop traders from exploiting buyers across the country.
At the weekend, Uhuru instructed the Treasury to come up with policies to control increased food prices. State House spokesperson Manoah Esipisu on Sunday said Treasury CS Henry Rotich was working on the budget which will address the matter.
“The government will table a supplementary budget in Parliament when it resumes on Tuesday so that the cost of basic commodities comes down as soon as possible.”