The cost of living has continued to burden Kenyans with low incomes, with many now unable to even buy food.


The small fish, which for a long time were considered food for the poor, have now almost doubled in price.


Over the past few days, Omena's price has suddenly risen by more than 70 percent.
 

Omena's price has suddenly risen by more than 70 percent.

The food, which is especially popular among the communities living near Lake Victoria, has become expensive for poor families who cannot afford other types of protein such as chicken, fish such as tuna and tilapia, or meat.


Usually, omena is sold in cans. A two-kilogramme can, which is the largest, now sells for Sh450 from Sh300 a few weeks ago.

 

Sources met the residents of those areas who complained about the difficulty of life, while many said they had to find alternative food that they could afford to buy.


Resident of Shauri Yako, Lencer Akoth, who is a mother of two children, said omena is part of her diet every week.


Usually, he buys the fish at the market and prepares them in different ways.


"My children enjoyed eating omena because it is a substitute for fish. I was surprised, however, to find the prices had almost doubled. I can't afford the price and feed my family the way I used to do before," she said.


In Homa Bay, people spend up to Sh100 to buy food at kiosks—a price that can buy food like pancakes, beans, or chips.


For ugali lovers, however, the price allows them to download a bowl of omena. But at the moment, the amount of omena being downloaded has been decreasing in the last few days.


The owner of the food stall, Ms. Quinter Atieno, said that she no longer gets the profit she used to get before the price of omena rose.


He was receiving more than 10 people, most of them boda-boda riders and hot sun.
They used to go to eat omena every time between six and eight in the afternoon in his hotel cabin in Homa Bay.


But now, many avoid eating lunch altogether, or when they do, they no longer order omena or high-priced food.


Homa Bay fishing officials say the current price of omena is due to the fish being scarce.


The situation is caused by several issues, including market changes, atmospheric conditions, and excessive use of Lake Victoria's resources.


Homa Bay County Fisheries Director, Mr. George Okoth, said the number of tuna caught has decreased while the number of customers remains high.


"When the number of products does not match that of customers, the price goes up. Many people prefer to eat omena because it is cheap," he said.


According to the official, fishing activities in the lake have also increased over the years. He says many people are joining the business of catching omena.


However, no one is concerned about protecting the lake to ensure that the number of fish increases. 


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