Why 2017 was a bad year for 75 per cent of Kenyans

A PSV matatu set on fire by rogue NASA supporters in Embakasi []

For many Kenyans, 2017 was the year that never was.

The 12 months of the year stretched political turmoil, unemployment for Kenyan youths, high cost of living and deteriorated security, a report on a survey conducted by TIFA shows.

A majority of Kenyans, 75 per cent feel that 2017 was much worse than 2017. Eighty one per cent cited the rising cost of living as a major cause.

Just a paltry 12 per cent of Kenyans felt that the year was good while a further 10 per cent said there was nothing different in 2017; it was the same with 2016.

“Basically, 2017 was a bad year for Kenyans. The prolonged election period coupled with drought impacted negatively on the economy and this resulted to high inflation and reduced employment prospects,” said TIFA’s Research CEO Maggie Ireri as quoted by the Star.

The survey was conducted between December 12 and 16 and had a total of 1,005 respondents. Its margin of error of is +/-3 and 95 per cent confidence level.

Political anxiety through the year according to respondents was at 52 per cent while unemployment polled 25 per cent.

In North Eastern, 100 per cent of the respondents cited the year was extremely difficult die to the rise in the cost of living.

In Nyanza and Coast, 90 per cent of the respondents had a similar view in the cost of living.

In Central and Nairobi regions, 83 per cent said the cost of living had risen compared to 2016 while 60 per cent of the respondents from Rift Valley held a similar view in regard to high cost of living.

The number of Kenyans who depend on relief food doubled to five million in the month of May when the process of basic food commodities such as milk, maize flour hit the roof.

“2017 was the year when food prices became the yardstick for Kenya’s economic performance in the eyes of the ordinary mwananchi,” added Ireri.

A total of 71 per cent of Kenyans felt employment opportunities had become elusive compared to 2016.

A further 62 per cent of Kenyans, majority from Nyanza (85%) and Nairobi (80%) felt that internal security worsened in 2017.

Police brutality was reported in these two parts of the country at the height of anti-IEBC protests after August 8 polls.

“In 2017, there was a series of political demonstrations that resulted to injuries, loss of lives and destruction of property. These could be contributing to the negative sentiments on internal security.”