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Kampala Residents Brace For Soaring Cost Of Living

Kampala Residents Brace For Soaring Cost Of Living

Residents of Kampala, Uganda’s capital, are bracing for a significant increase in the cost of living as prices of food and other essential commodities continue to rise.

Vendors in local fresh food markets report that prices have been steadily increasing over the past month, and they suspect the trend may continue due to an expected hike in the price of petroleum products.

Survival in Kampala is becoming increasingly uncomfortable for many city dwellers. Even with the assumption that housing and other expenses remain static, the cost of living is rising daily, starting from the most basic necessities like a meal.

At Nakasero Market, prices of essential items and fresh produce have seen a noticeable increase since last month. Beans, for instance, have gone up from 3,500-4,000 Ugandan shillings (UGX) per kilogram to between 4,500-5,000 UGX currently.

As the cost of cooking fuel, such as gas or charcoal, required to prepare beans rises, many urban residents are turning to meat as a more accessible option. However, even the meat sellers are struggling with the high prices they are paying at the abattoirs.

“We have not yet increased the meat price per kilogram, yet we also get it at a high price. That is why our prices remain at 15,000 UGX per kilo,” says Ali Makumbi, a local butcher.

Similarly, Shamirah Bashir, a chicken vendor, has seen a significant increase in the prices of off-layers and broilers. “We have been purchasing off-layers at 20,000 UGX and selling them for 23,000 UGX, but now, we buy them at 23,000 UGX to sell them at 25,000 UGX,” she explains. “Broilers that previously went for 15,000 UGX now go for 17,000 UGX.”

The price hikes extend to other essential commodities as well. Spices like onions and tomatoes have seen a dramatic increase, with a box of tomatoes that previously cost between 650,000-700,000 UGX now going for 800,000 UGX.

Vendors attribute the rising prices to the 100 UGX excise duty tax per liter of fuel, which they believe will continue to drive up prices, further tightening the financial burden on Kampala’s residents.

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