Cost of living beyond reach of many Zambians – JCTR

[By Edwin Mbulo in Kalabo]

SCRUTINISE the messages of all political leaders to see if they are addressing Zambia’s economic challenges, the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) urges Zambians.

And the Basic Needs and Nutrition Basket (BNNB) for June released on July 14 puts Lusaka at K8,489.48

According to JCTR political parties need to emphasise on the need to uphold the common good and dignity of every Zambian.

“We also note that a few commodities may be cheaper compared to other countries in the region. Notwithstanding these factors, the nation is undeniably faced with key social-economic issues that need urgent solutions. Of concern to JCTR is the fact that the high cost of living (for basic essentials) in Zambia is beyond reach of many Zambians. This is on account of different social-economic issues characterised by high poverty, high unemployment and low income levels among others,” it stated. “The JCTR therefore continue to emphasise that it is pertinent for all voters to scrutinise the messages that different political leaders are advancing…to see if they are addressing the economic challenges. Sustainable and workable solutions to the nation should be core to various campaign themes.”

And the BNNB for June shows that a bag of charcoal in Lusaka is at K720 from K640 in May.

The JCTR revealed that a family of five in Lusaka in June required K8,489.49 to survive.

This moved from K8,442.24 in May and is attributed to price movements especially in chickens and eggs which increased to K290.71 for five kilogrammes and K422.59 for three trays respectively.

The JCTR noted that the increase in charcoal in Lusaka was due to an increase in energy demand during the cold season without a corresponding increase in supply.

As for eggs and chicken, the increase was attributed to an increase in cost of production given the economic context.

As for other areas, JCTR survey put the BNNB at K5,822.49 in Chinsali, K6,079.34 in Chipata and K6,700.72 in Kabwe which are all on an increase.

In Kasama it was at K4,676.21 from K4,278.53, in Kitwe it went up from K7,166.36 to K7, 562.83 while in Livingstone it went to K5,660.09 from K5,629.01 and in Mazabuka the BNNB increased by K172.48 to K6,728.12 and in Ndola it increased to K6,727.13.

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