BORN Short Living Tall Zambia has appealed to the government to quickly address the high cost of living and the escalating prices of major commodities in the country.
Executive director Ntalasha Chisha observed that most traders and vendors dealing with daily consumer goods had taken advantage of the current economic instability to increase prices citing the Coronavirus pandemic and the depreciation of the kwacha.
“We feel that if the government does not move in quickly to arrest this situation, it will damage the nation’s macroeconomic stability and sink the nation into depths of poverty,” he said. “It is important to recognise that the household is at the receiving end of all this high cost of living as a result. There is need to look into the situation at the individual or household level especially because the expenditure on food forms a large proportion of the budget of many poor families.”
Chisha said with the increase in food expenditure, households would have less money to spend on other things or consumer goods, investment in education, health and their general livelihood.
He said the government must therefore come up with measures and strategies to mitigate the effects of rising costs of commodities in the country.
Chisha said in this light, BSLT Zambia was urging the government to form a task force urgently which will include ministers, economists, personnel from Bank of Zambia and members of civil society organisations to study the situation on a continuous basis so as to recommend actions as would be necessary from time to time, until stabilisation and normalcy is achieved.
“It is the duty of the government to cushion the Zambian consumer against the rising commodity costs otherwise the Zambian people will begin dying of hunger,” said Chisha.