• The cost of living for a family of five for August 2023 in Lusaka stood at K9, 267.34.
• This is in comparison to the recorded figure of K9, 301.18 in July 2023.
• This signifies a reduction of approximately K34 due to reduced average prices of vegetables, cooking oil and soya pieces.
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) has disclosed that the basic needs and nutrition basket for a family of five in Lusaka has reduced by K34 from K9, 301.18 recorded in July to K9, 267.34 in August 2023.
Centre Social & Economic Development Programme Manager Muchimba Siamachoka attributed the decline in the basket to the reduced average prices of vegetables, cooking oil, and soya pieces.
Ms. Siamachoka however noted that despite the K34 reduction in the basket, there was an increase in the prices of food items such as roller mealie meal which rose to K195.17 per 25kg bag from K180.83 in the previous month.
“The cost of living for a family of five, as measured by the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection Basic Needs and Nutrition Basket for the month of August 2023 in Lusaka, stood at K9, 267.34. In comparison to the recorded figure of K9, 301.18 in July 2023, this signifies a reduction of approximately K34.”
“Our research attributes this reduction to the reduced average prices of vegetables that moved to K413.88 per 40kg from K623.83 per 40kg, the price of cooking oil reduced to K139.92 per 3.6 liters from K160.66 per 3.6 liters and soya pieces reduced to K114.60 per 2kg from K143.82 per kg,” Ms. Siamachoka stated.
She also revealed that during the month under review, the price of rice increased from K231.34 per 4kg to K257, while cassava flour rose from K111.73 per 6kg to K139.90, and with 10 liters of milk rising from K231.34 to K257.06, whereas a 90 kilogram bag of charcoal increased from K330 to K455.
Ms. Siamachoka said the organization is still looking forward to the fulfillment of government’s commitment to restore economic growth and safeguard livelihoods, noting that the high cost of living has remained consistently above the K9, 000 marks in Lusaka, with the national average cost exceeding K6, 000.
“The Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection observes that the cost of living in the country remains high, and the government has yet to give a clear road map for addressing this challenge. The Centre remains concerned about the lack of more stringent measures to improve the cost of living.”
“As a point of reflection for the two years in government marked this August 2023, JCTR, like the rest of the citizenry, is still looking forward to the fulfillment of government’s commitment to “Restore Economic Growth and Safeguard Livelihoods” and particularly in relation to addressing the cost of living we must sustain livelihoods ensure affordable cost of living as well as food and nutrition security for our people.” The rising price of mealie meal, the country’s staple food and widely consumed by many, cannot be ignored as it threatens the food security and livelihoods of many Zambians. Even the nutritious roller mealie meal, on an average is costing K204.35 per 25kg bag. Is this something that the majority of people can afford? The answer is certainly negative,” she added.