Malawi cost of living soar: Hitting hard Lilongwe, Zomba and Mzuzu

The cost of living for Malawi’s capital Lilongwe, Mzuzu and old capital Zomba are still rising, a welfare monitoring survey has revealed.

The Basic Needs Basket (BNB) survey conducted by the Centre for Social Concern (CfSC) shows that the cost of living  has generally gone up largely on account of increases in both food and non-food basic needs.

The CfSC October 2012 report shows that the cost of living for Blantyre rose the highest among all the cities by 6.4 percent from K75 543 to K81 595.  The report also shows that the food basket rose by about 13 percent to K45 835 from K40 953 per household per month, the highest while Zomba has the lowest at K40 464 per month.

Lilongwe, which remains the most expensive among the four cities, has its cost of living marginally rising from K85 997 to K86 193, Zomba from K68 417 to K69 544 and Mzuzu rose from K73 670 to K74 600 per household per month.

Selling Bonya at Limbe market as economic hardships continue to take its toll on Malawian consumers.- Photo by Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times

According to the report, housing in Blantyre averaged K15 788, Zomba K14 458, and Mzuzu K13 516 per three-bedroom house per month.

A 50 kilogramme (kg) bag of maize sells at K3 171 about K63.42 per kg in Lilongwe while in Blantyre the same quantity sells at K3 500, Zomba K3 400 and Mzuzu K 2 460, according to the report.

CFSC, The Roman Catholic body said recently that there is serious failure by most households to meet key nutritional requirements, a development that is symptomatic of Malawi’s deepening economic malaise.

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