Traders in Lusaka City Market have expressed concern over the escalating prices of local commodities in the country.
Mable Chisenga, a local trader, told Lusaka Star that the prices have made it difficult for her to fend for her family even in this rough economy.
We are supposed to earn a living from selling what we sell but the order prices of local good is way too high,Mrs. Chisenga.
This has even made us cut off the purchasing of other goods which are too expensive such as soap in order to focus on the essentials as prices are too high.
This came after the Jesuit Center for Theological Reflections (JCTR) revealed that citizens in the country are compromising on their standard of living due to the economic hardships resulting from escalating prices of food and non-food items the country is facing.
JCTR Social and Economic Programs Manager Chama Mundia, said according to the recent Basic Needs and Nutrition Basket publication by JCTR, the cost of living has escalated to about K8,500 from K 7,100 for a family of five in Zambia.
She said a number of Zambians are not able to meet these needs as families are struggling especially in areas of high population density.
The average household income in Zambia is about K4,000, which has caused families to resort to having less daily meals, compromising their nutritional needs.
Ms. Mundia further said that JCTR is advocating to government based on the finding of this living standards survey.
She said the country needs to do more in terms of protecting the less privileged and those whose incomes fall below the nutrition basket to see how best people can enhance their income sources, create more employment opportunities and review the minimum wage that workers earn for social protection.
In Zambia generally, there are high poverty levels which stand at about 50 percent and low income which stands at an average of K4,000 per household according to the Labour Force of Survey of 2019,Ms. Mundia.
The programs manager added that the Basic Needs and Nutrition Basket (BNNB) survey is a monthly survey of prices for an ideal basket of goods and services that a family should be able to access.
The focus is on a family of five based on the Zambia Statistics Agency (ZSA) average family size in Zambia based on the based on the living conditions monitoring survey of 2015.