In a year marked by company layoffs and relatively higher inflation that eroded household incomes, many Nairobi residents would rather spend the 2019 Christmas holiday in the city.
A spot check by the Business Daily in various parts of Nairobi found that most city dwellers have opted to avoid the high fares associated with last-minute Christmas rush. Instead, they are going on with their daily chores hoping to make a few more coins for January expenses.
The Nairobi residents cite increased fares, school fees, household expenses and rent for January as reasons for opting to not to travel upcountry.
Vitalis Kiprotich, a resident of Pipeline in Embakasi said he had to choose between meeting his city family’s basic needs by paying buying “everything whose prices have gone up” and travelling home.
“It wouldn’t be noble for me to pay the fare from Nairobi, which has nearly doubled, just to travel to Baringo yet I know very well that January is around the corner,” he said.
“I have other bills to pay including school fees, rent, fare, and personal expenses waiting for me next month.”
Life has relatively been harder for low-income earners this year with inflation averaging 5.14 percent in the 11 months to November compared to 4.6 percent in the same period last year. John Kimani, a resident of Fedha Estate, said he opted not to travel to his rural home in Nakuru “because of pending January burden”.
“If I go home right now I will have to part ways with more than Sh10,000 in transport, food and clothing,” he said.
Mr Kimani added that Christmas is like any other day and that he did not have to splurge a lot of money on a one-day fete and then suffer financially in subsequent months.