Friday, August 2, 2019

KISII REPORT - WHY IS FOOD SO EXPENSIVE IN KENYA?



The question I am often asked—“Why is the food so expensive in Kenya?”

How much is it? I used to give the round figure of $1000 per week to feed all the orphans and the workers. That is about 50 people, which works out to about $20 per week per person.

But that figure is no longer valid. Because of poor crop yields, adverse weather conditions and growing demands upon the food supply, prices have recently risen significantly.

Below are the prices that the Log Church Orphanage last paid in comparison with previous prices. I am giving the prices as Pastor Joel gave them to me last week (in Kenya Shillings). One Ksh in dollars equals 0.0097 at today’s exchange. That is close to a penny per shilling.

I usually just do my conversion simply by moving the decimal point to the left two places, and I figure it is close enough. But I know that there are some out there that like things exact, so I have also made the conversions to dollars. I have not however, done the kilogram to pound conversion. Maybe that is your thing that you like to do. If so, let me know how it compares with food here in the US:

Maize – was Ksh.8000 ($77.60) per 100kg. The new price is Ksh.15,000 ($145.50) per 100kg. That is an increase of Ksh.7,000 ($67.90) per 100 kg. (getting close to double the price)

Rice – was Ksh.8000 ($77.60) per 100kg, Now Ksh.10,000 ($97.13) per 100kg. That is an increase of Ksh.2,000 ($19.40)

Beans – was Ksh.15,000 ($145.50) per 100kg, but now is Ksh.25,000 ($242.50). That is an increase of Ksh 10,000 ($97.13)

Vegetables – I have no former price, but the orphanage spends Ksh 3000 per day for these ($29.14)

According to the World Economic Forum, the people of Kenya use 46.7% of their income on food. That is the second highest in the world. It is higher only in Nigeria, where they spend over half their income on food.

What do we spend in the US? The least in the entire world – 6.4%

Of course, this is more than a function of food prices alone. It also depends upon wages. But after all the calculations and comparisons are done, the end result always comes to this: How difficult is it to feed my family?

If you Google the price for food in Nairobi (the capital city), you will find that the cost of food for one person per month is Ksh 19,000 ($184.30). If you were feeding 50 people, as we do at the orphanage (42 children plus staff), that comes to Ksh 950,000, or $9,215.00 per month.

Joel tells me that the orphan workers figure that they spend Ksh 798,000 ($7,740.60) per month. That works out to $154.81 per person per month.
 
So, instead of the round figure for food of $1000 per week as I used to say, I think today it would be getting close to $2000 per week. What I am able to send does not approach this amount.

The people of the church in Kenya bring food items in for the children, but it is an area of quite severe poverty, so there is no abundance of food. But God is feeding His children, despite outward difficulties.

So these are the food needs. But of course there are many other necessities in raising children.

School shoes –  (42 Black Bata shoes needed) one pair cost Ksh.2200 =$21.37.

Clothes – one pair full cost Ksh.1000=$9.71. Clothes for 42 children are needed. Certainly they pass on clothing from child to child, but clothes do eventually wear out beyond repair.

20 Mattress are needed. One mattress costs Ksh.4500=$43.71. They are only a thin foam covered by cloth, and they eventually also wear out.

Blankets – 20 are needed at Ksh 800 each ($7.77)

Bed sheets – 20 are needed at Ksh 700 each ($6.80)

School – the children are now on holiday for the month of August, but when classes again begin in September, the school costs will run about $1200 per month for all the children (about  $28.50 per month per child).

Many people tell me that they are praying for all of these needs of the orphans of the Log Church Kenya. I believe in prayer and I have seen and been the recipient of genuine miracles directly as a result of prayer. So I will say, if that is what God is telling you to do – only bring the needs to him in prayer, thank you so much! I know that God will honor and answer your prayers.

At the same time, if God is telling you that you should also help in a more tangible way, but you only are willing to pray and nothing more, I do not have the same assurance that your prayers have any effect. Would you think that God actually pays much attention to the prayers of those who are not following what he is telling them to do?

“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you tells him, ‘Go in peace; stay warm and well fed,’ but does not provide for his physical needs, what good is that?  So too, faith by itself, if it is not complemented by action, is dead.” (James 2:15-17)

And to all who have helped by sending funds for the needs of the orphans, I also say thank you so much. The money is not wasted, and it goes 100% for the needs of the children.

If God is asking you to give, I encourage you to loosen up those purse strings a little. I will tell you that you will not be sorry. There is nothing that feels quite so good as obeying the Lord.

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If you would like to help the children of the Log Church Orphanage of Kisii, Kenya, you may make your check out to "The Log Church" and write "Orphans" on the memo line.

Send it to:
The Log Church
PO Box 68
Tripoli, Wisconsin 54564

Every nickel given in this way will be used for only aid for the orphans. It will be used for purchasing food, clothing, schooling, and other necessities of living. Nothing is held back or diverted for any other purpose

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