Aug 9, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

More Kenyans have sunk into poverty, new report reveals

A new report from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows that the number of Kenyans living in poverty has increased by 15 percentage points since 2013, when the Jubilee Party took power from former President Mwai Kibaki.

The survey on the SDG [Sustainable Development Goals] Fact Sheet 2021 published last Friday shows that the number of Kenyans living in poverty rose from 38.9 percent to 53 percent of the population between 2014 and 2018. Living in poverty is seen as more than just lack of income; it includes a lack of access to health care, education, decent housing and other basic services.

“This means that more Kenyans are losing the ability to buy essentials as their incomes have fallen below what is can afford such goods. It’s a surprising study, “said John Mutua, a program coordinator at the Institute for Economic Affairs.

He added that the survey results are an indicator that the government’s heavy investments in infrastructure projects will take longer to complete they generate returns and could currently only benefit a few people who are directly involved in their development.

“Due to the low added value, the Kenyans still do not harvest much from agriculture, which employs most of the people in the economy “He added.

According to the World Bank, Kenya’s current population is estimated at 53.77 million. The poverty level of 53 percent means that around 28.5 million people live in need.

The far-reaching survey also includes some important achievements of the anniversary administration.

Schools with access to electricity are from 82.6 percent in 2016 rose to 97 percent in 2019, the proportion of births cared for by specialist staff rose from 61.8 percent in 2014 to 70.2 percent in 2017, while households that are clean Energy consumption, rose from 14.6 percent in 2016 to 25.4 percent in 2019.

National poverty line

The number of Kenyan children who enroll in organized learning institutions , is of . increased 71.8 percent in 2014 to 77.2 percent in 2018, while the death rate from traffic accidents fell from 11 per 100,000 people in 2014 to seven in 2018.

The report shows that by 2016 36.1 percent of men in Kenya were living below the national poverty line, as the proportion of women in the same category was slightly higher at 36.2 percent. She adds that in 2016 – just a year before the 2017 general election, when President Kenyatta was re-elected – children under the age of 17 were the largest group living below the national poverty line.

Almost half of that Age group (41.5 percent) lived below the national poverty line. Closely followed by older citizens over 70 years of age, 39.1 percent of their population lived below the poverty line, and 36.2 percent of the population between 60 and 69 years of age also lived in the same difficult circumstances.

The report shows that even among young people aged 18 to 35, who recorded the lowest number of people living in poverty, 29.1 percent of the population lived below the national poverty line.

According to the World Bank, the international poverty line is defined as an income of less than $ 1.90 per day (Sh214.7 at the current exchange rate). The World Bank also sets the poverty line for low-middle-income countries, including Kenya since 2014, at USD 3.20 per day per person (around Sh361.60).

In 2018, the Report further 54 percent. of women in Kenya lived in poverty, while 52 percent of men lived in economic hardship.

But just five years earlier, in 2014, the national average for Kenyans was 38.9 percent of the population. The 2014 study categorized poverty in urban and rural areas and found that 20.3% of urban residents lived in poverty, but nearly half of rural residents – 48.4% – were poor.

The decline in Kenya’s proficiency level could be due to the transition from a low-income country (LIC) to a lower-middle-income country (LMIC) under World Bank standards in 2014, which meant standards for measuring poverty changed – including an increase in the amount that qualifies one above the poverty line from Sh92.4 to Sh155.7 per person per day.

The leap to the status of a low-middle-income country was thanks to the strong Domestic and international work achieves borrowing, raising Kenya’s total indebtedness to nearly 70 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).


“The interest rate at which the government loans The country has fallen into debt to service the loans the government has had to take out p rice as the staple food, escalating the cost of living and pushing more Kenyans below the poverty line, “said Dr. Samuel Nyandemo, economics professor at the University of Nairobi.

The report contradicts previous reports suggesting that Kenya’s poverty situation has decreased over time, but could also explain the impact of difficult economic conditions, beneath that Kenyans live with a weaker shilling, growing public debt and rising taxes on basic goods.

KNBS data shows that prices for basic raw materials such as sugar, cornmeal, Sukuma-Wiki, cooking gas and gasoline have been increasing since 2013 have increased by up to 46 percent. For example, while a kilo of Sukuma Wiki in 2013 cost Sh34, by 2018 – the latest available data at KNBS – a kilo of the product cost 48.61 Sh., A price increase of 46.2 percent.

Also cost one Kilos of sugar in January 2013 Sh122, while the sweetener is currently 135 Sh. which corresponds to a 10.7 percent price increase in the 10-year period r period.

January 2020 was the only period in which Kenyans enjoyed lower prices for the goods and at 108.79 Shillings . was sold at Sh112 in 2013 and stayed below Sh120 through 2017. The current price of the product represents an increase between 11 and 30 percent over the 10 years.

Gasoline has its price around 16. increases percent between 2013 and 2022 from Sh112 to Sh130 per liter. However, between 2017 and 2022 the price of the product rose by 35 percent, from Sh 96.88 per liter.

The report also indicates that the proportion of the population with social protection systems rose by 78.3 per percent in 2018 to 63 percent in 2019 – even before the global Covid-19 health pandemic hit and devastated the economy.

The SDG Fact Sheet 2021 shows the population covered by the safety nets by gender, children, unemployed , the elderly, people with disabilities, pregnant women, newborns, victims of industrial accidents, as well as the poor and the needy of protection. It shows that 67.3 percent of male Kenyans were insured in 2018, but almost 10 percent more Kenyans in 2019, with only 57.7 percent being insured.

Severe food insecurity

In addition, 87.3 percent of women in Kenya were covered by social protection systems, but only 67 percent in 2019. On food insecurity, the report states that the median income of small food producers in the country through 2020 was Sh16,131, with males contributing Sh11,422 and women Sh6,679.

It is said to have been prevalent through 2016 of severe food insecurity of 19.1 percent among Kenyans and 56.5 percent moderate prevalence.

This revelation comes close to last year’s report on the World Hunger Index (GHI), which classified Kenya as severe with a score of 23. < / p>

The GHI continues to rank Kenya low among countries with safe food systems and has only managed to come from an alarming distance to serious starvation levels in the past two decades, with most progress made during the tenure of President Kibaki.

The most notable efforts to reduce the hunger index in Kenya were made between 2003 and 2012, when Mr. Kibaki was in power r, show the GHI reports.

For just two years before President Kibaki came to power in 2000, Kenya’s hunger index was 36.7 (suggesting it is at alarming levels found), the index had fallen to 31.2 points by 2006 and 25.4 (serious values) in 2012, just before he stepped down.

Between 2012 and 2021, Kenya only moved up two points currently 23 postponed. Last year’s GHI report showed that a quarter of Kenyan children under the age of five are stunted (a small size compared to their age), while almost the same number (24.8 percent) of the population in Kenya are malnourished (measurement inadequate Food supply as an indicator of hunger). The World Bank reported in November 2020 that Covid-19 had exacerbated Kenya’s poverty situation.

“Kenya has made significant strides in fighting poverty in recent years, but COVID-19 has destroyed the livelihoods of many Kenyans. driving an estimated two million people into poverty. A quick and targeted response is needed to protect livelihoods and avoid more people trapped in long-term poverty, “said Utz Pape, World Bank Senior Economist in the Poverty & Equity Global Practice.