Cost of living in Malawi’s four cities—Lilongwe, Zomba, Blantyre and Mzuzu—rose by about 2.7 percent in July compared to the previous month due to increases in food and non-food essentials, a report has shown.
Data provided by the Centre for Social Concern (CfSC), a Lilongwe-based faith organisation, has indicated that in July, the average cost of living for a household of six in the four cities rose to K120 500 from about K117 000 in June.
The average food basket which includes maize, milling, beans, beef, eggs, across the four cities rose by 2.8 percent to K71 500. The non-food basket which includes charcoal, toiletries, utilities and housing jumped by 2.5 percent to slightly over K49 000 in July.
The BNB which totals food and the essential non-food baskets represents the urban poverty line and according to CfSC, households whose monthly incomes are below basic food requirements are considered ultra poor.
But CfSC in a press statement released with the July data has blamed urbanisation—the movement of people from rural to urban areas—for the rise in the cost of living.
Providing solutions to the problem, the faith organisation has asked policy makers to encourage entrepreneurship, provide technical and vocational training to the youth in rural areas and loans to the urban poor.
“Unless the current rate of urbanisation is properly managed, the country has to brace for even more tough times ahead. It is up to the policy makers and planners to deliberately address critical issues leading to the relentless flocking of young and energetic men and women to the country’s cities,” reads the statement in part.