Lusaka’s living wage balloons as basic needs basket bursts upward

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THE weight of survival in Lusaka just got heavier as a recent survey by the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) reveals a gut-punching  rise in the cost living to K398.12 for a family of five. 

Lusaka’s living wage is  definitely on a runaway train, leaving many passengers behind as reflected by statistics in December last year where the survey indicated  the cost of living as K9,157.41,  but since last month, it has ballooned to K9,555.53. 

“Significant increases were observed in both food prices and non-food categories,” stated Father Alex Muyebe, JCTR Executive Director. 

This translates to a tightening grip on wallets and a growing struggle for low-income families, already teetering on the edge.

Charcoal, a seasonal price chameleon, jumped first, followed by Kapenta and cooking oil.

But the sting doesn’t stop there. Over the past four months, potatoes, chicken, and vegetables have been steadily marching upwards, leaving many gasping for breath.

Father Muyebe urged the government to take immediate action and Implement ethical price control measures to stop predatory price hikes and support low-income households with robust social safety nets that guarantee access to basic necessities for all.

Kalemba February 6, 2024

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