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Runaway food prices hit Kisumu as suppliers shy off

12 March 2013, 13:09 Oduor Omondi

Kisumu residents have decried the escalating prices of food commodities saying it is taking a toll on them.

The residents are wondering why food prices have soared up despite the reopening of businesses which had closed during the elections.

The runaway food prices have been mainly attributed to a dip in supplies since most suppliers from other parts of the country shy away from the lakeside town due to fears of violence during and after last week’s General Election.

Most commodities come from towns far away such as Eldoret, Kitale, Nakuru and Kisii.

Kisumu City Residents Voice Chairman Audi Ogada said the escalating price is an indication that all is not well despite the elections being lauded as rather peaceful.

Ogada said it was unfortunate that most suppliers of basic foodstuffs such as maize, beans, cabbages and tomatoes have kept off the lake side town two days after the announcement of presidential election results.

Traders in the town’s two main market Kibuye and Oil have resumed business. Most of them are however complaining of a decline in supply.

At the Oile market, prices of basic commodities such as tomatoes and vegetables have shot up tremendously, with a cabbage retailing at KES 80, up from KES 40.

Mary Apiyo who runs a groceries shop at the market said she has been forced to close shop due to lack of fruits.

She said her suppliers who come from Nakuru are still ‘surveying’ the situation in Kisumu before resuming business.

The price of fish has also shot up with a medium-sized tilapia being sold at KES 300 by fishmongers, up from the usual KES 200.

A 500 gram packet of milk is retailing at KES 50 up from KES 40 a few days ago. 

The town has also been hit by a low supply of unprocessed milk.

A 20kg container of Irish potatoes is being sold at KES 600, an increase of KES 300 in less than a week.

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