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Gap between rich and poor 'keeps growing', new study shows

Wednesday February 28 2018

Victor Rateng

Victor Rateng, Twaweza Senior Program Officer, during the release of the report in Nairobi on February 28, 2018. PHOTO | BERNARDINE MUTANU | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

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The gap between the rich and the poor keeps widening, a new study shows.

Although steady economic growth in recent years has helped some, and new technology has brought financial services within the reach of many who were previously excluded, poverty and food insecurity remains a daily reality for many Kenyans, the study by Twaweza, a citizen-centered initiative, focusing on large-scale change in East Africa reveals.

The poor continue to be poor compared to other groups whose income levels improved slightly, Victor Rateng, a senior program officer at Twaweza said.

“The increase in poorer people saying their income met their needs was smaller than in any other group,” he said.


According to the report titled 'Money Matters: Kenyans’ opinions and experiences of poverty and financial inclusion' which was released Wednesday majority of Kenyans do not have enough income to meet their daily needs.


The research, which was conducted between September and October 2017, stated that only 1 out of 3 Kenyans find their income sufficient to meet their daily needs.

Out of the 1,701 respondents who participated in the research, 82 per cent said they were dissatisfied with the economic situation in the country at the time.

According to the organisation’s advocacy manager Brezhnev Otieno, the economy is likely to get worse in the coming days.

“Government’s debt has increased two-fold, and there is a likelihood that Kenyans will face hard economic situation in the coming days. Our economy may be affected adversely, it may be hard for Kenyans to get loans in the coming days.

"Also commodity prices may increase two-fold,” he said.

In the survey, at least 75 per cent of the respondents expressed their dissatisfaction in the manner in which the government was handling corruption while 71 per cent said they were not satisfied in government’s efforts to create job opportunities.

However, 58 per cent of the respondents approved government’s efforts in improving security for all.