Random thoughts: Why you should care about the rising fuel costs

An attendant at a petrol station
An attendant at a petrol station

There are numerous activities in your daily life that rely on fuel and will inevitably go up in price due to the proposed fuel tax. Here are just the few ways it will affect you.

Food

Your local mama mboga relies on transport to bring fresh veggies from outside Nairobi. The rising fuel costs will be transferred to them through higher fares. Now vegetables will be a bit more expensive. Years ago, sukuma for 20 bob was sufficient to feed a family of four for a basic dinner. Now it can barely feed two people. I suspect that soon, this will feed just one person.

Delivery services

It’s no secret that Kenyas retail space relies on Nduthis to deliver goods to their clients. From online shopping to food deliveries… Nduthi transport has been a blessing in disguise not forgetting when you are late for those important meetings when there is traffic. Nduthis are seen as a cheaper and more efficient way of getting some services done… Nduthis rely on fuel and their prices will definitely go up.

Once upon a time, 50 bob on a Nduthi was the base fare for a significant distance. Now with the rising prices of fuel, don’t be surprised if its 150 bob.

Electricity

If you look closely at your Kenya power bill, there is a significant amount of it that goes in to the fuel levies. Kenya power bills already went up during the past month and thanks to the rise in fuel costs, they are about to get higher again. Remember the good old days when 1000 bob was enough to get you through a whole month? Those days are long gone.

School transport

If you have school going kids, you know how costly school transport is and how schools never hesitate to hike the prices whenever they get the chance to. Soon you will be looking at the invoice for school transport and asking yourself “Kwani nalipa loan ya gari?”

How can Kenyans adapt to the rising fuel costs?
  • Carpooling. See that neighbor you rarely talk to? The one whose workplace is close to yours? You can collaborate and share fuel costs during the week. The more you are, the better. You can minimize the fuel costs this way
  • Jog or cycle to work. If your workplace isn’t so far from your home and has a shower, consider taking on the Kenyan stereotype of being great athletes. Buy running shoes or a bicycle and keep yourself fit before a busy working day
  • Negotiate for a different working schedule at work. If you are valuable at your workplace you can save costs by commuting during the hours when there is minimal traffic jam. You can alternatively get to work at 11 and leave at 8 or 9 when there is little traffic jam on the roads