The price of basic food commodities has arisen in Bomet markets three weeks after President Uhuru Kenyatta locked down a section of the country.
In his national address, the head of the state locked down five counties which include Nakuru, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nairobi together affecting the influx flow of foods and basic commodities to Bomet and other interior counties.
A spot check by KNA at Bomet Market within Bomet town revealed that the price of tomatoes and onions and other food-related stuff has increased at least by two times the initial market price.
Joyce Chepkirui, a trader, said that it has been impossible for business people to source tomatoes and onions from Nakuru County where this crop is cultivated on a large scale. “The price of tomatoes perhaps has changed from Sh 2,800 a crate to almost Sh 4,400 now, the reason being we can’t manoeuvre through the roadblocks to market places in Nakuru where we used to acquire this commodity from,” she said
She also noted that vendors have been forced to increase the price of other food-related items, for instance, a kilo of onions which used to go for Sh 40 now retails at Sh 70 making it hard for customers to bear the price rise.
On the other corner of the market, Ms Jane Marisoi who sells groceries in the market noted that it has been not easy for them to travel to different markets as they used to, due to restriction of movement and rise in Matatu fare.
Marisoi who has been doing this business for the past 20 years, urged the government to ease the restriction of movement and allow traders to move from one county to another to access the sources of their market products.
“We are urging the government to consider traders as essential workers, and allow them to move freely from Bomet to Nakuru to collect market products and other foodstuffs,” she said.
The same situation has been experienced by Mr Ahmed Aden, a boutique trader, according to him, his business has been immensely affected by Corona and lack of enough stock.
Aden asserted that despite owning two shops in Bomet, it has been hectic for him to acquire goods from Nairobi due to restriction of movement into diseased areas.
He also noted that the price of items has surged as a result of the cost of shipping goods from the Capital city by few allowed courier, package delivery and express service who extort traders.
By Lamech Arisa and Joseph Obwocha