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Kisumu hit by high food prices after violent protests

Post-election protests affect food supply in Kisumu and other towns in the region hence increase in the food prices

Matatu operators have doubled fares, saying they were risking their lives due to the prevailing tension in the region.

Migori residents also bear the brunt of last weekend’s post-election chaos.

The cost of food and transport has more than doubled in Kisumu as the impact of the protests that left one person dead and several others injured continues to bite.

Kisumu and other major towns in Nyanza have not been receiving food supplies from the neghbouring Nandi, Kericho and Nyamira counties and from Uganda since August 8 when protests broke out after Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of the presidential election.

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The few matatu operators who have been on the road have doubled fares, saying they were risking their lives and vehicles due to the prevailing tension in the region.

Those travelling to Migori from Kisumu are paying Sh800, up from Sh400 while those going to Homa Bay are paying Sh500 instead of Sh300.

Speaking to The Standard yesterday, John Ogola, a motorbike operator, said business has been low.

“Getting fuel is also a challenge as most petrol stations have closed. Finding customers is another big challenge because most people are still indoors due to fear,” said Ogola.

In Migori, food prices have continued to rise as the effect of post-election crisis peaked.

A kilo of beef, which initially sold at Sh350, now goes for Sh450. Rice is selling at Sh300, up from Sh250 per 2kg tin. Beans are selling at Sh250, up by Sh50 per 2kg tin.

Yesterday, a spot check around some markets in Migori, Riosiri, Awendo, Nyabigege, Nyamarambe, Opapo and Marindi revealed shortage of kales, beans, bananas and spider weeds.

Yesterday, Kisumu residents quickly snapped up a few bags of vegetables supplied to Kibuye and Jubilee markets.

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The town is also faced with a shortage of fish, milk and eggs. The town relies on eggs from Uganda and milk from Nandi and Kericho counties.

This means consumers will have to struggle to get food from far-flung markets. Some traders have also retreated to sell fresh produce like kales and cabbages from the safety of their farms. Karen Atieno and Rose Abuya said they are selling from their Oyani farm in Awendo.

Fares are also up, with travellers from Ringo to Migori paying Sh150 from Sh100.

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