Varying prices cut basic needs basket
By JAMES KUNDA -
THE Basic Needs Basket (BNB) for a family of five in Ndola reduced by K 54.61 in the month of July due to fluctuating prices of basic food and non- essential food items, the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) has said.
According to a presentation during an awareness meeting on the BNB held at Fatmols Lodge in Ndola on Wednesday, JCTR said, in July, a family of five in Ndola required K2,871.94, K 54.61 less than the K 2,926.55 needed in June to meet the basic needs basket.
“For basic food items, a family of five in Ndola would require K 1,003.52 and for essential non-food items, the family would require K 1,868.32, brining the total BNB to K 2,871.94,” the presentation said.
Programme facilitator Ray Mwape said later that snap surveys conducted monthly by JCTR, on the prevailing economic situations regarding the BNB, had revealed that there had been no let up in the price of commodities.
“Contrary to early assumptions that decreases on mealie-meal prices would occur as people commence grinding their own maize from the harvests, the price is still high in the range of K62 for breakfast, sifted mealie-meal at K60 and roller meal for K42.
“The majority of these households cannot afford these escalating prices putting into consideration the levels of unemployment,” Mr Mwape said.
He said the cost of maintaining power supply through the purchase of prepaid units could be seen as high as more than K200 per month, and yet one was not even compensated for any loss suffered due to load shedding by Zesco.
“Overall, we see this unhealthy trend in commodity prices deteriorating in the coming months, especially during the rainy season where it is expected mealie-meal may fetch between K80 and K100 in inaccessible places,” he said.