Kenya is experiencing an astronomical surge in fuel prices, marking an all-time high. The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority’s unexpected revision of pump prices has exacerbated the economic woes that millions of Kenyan citizens are grappling with.
The startling announcement has propelled the cost of a litre of petrol to an unparalleled 200 Kenyan shillings ($1.36), leaving the nation in a state of financial turmoil.
As if the skyrocketing fuel prices weren’t enough, Kenyans are already grappling with the harsh reality of a rising cost of living, compounded by the increasing prices of essential commodities, a slew of new taxes, and the dramatic depreciation of the Kenyan shilling.
This year has witnessed a series of vehement opposition protests against President William Ruto’s government and his economic policies, some of which have tragically escalated into violent clashes.
Under the newly implemented pricing structure, effective from Friday and slated to endure until October 14, a litre of petrol in Nairobi, the capital, has seen an astonishing spike of nearly 17 shillings, reaching a staggering 211.64 shillings ($1.44), while diesel is now priced at 200.99 shillings.
To make matters worse, matatu fares—the primary mode of transportation for a vast majority of Kenyans – are also set to increase by a substantial 20 percent, according to reports from the Matatu Owners Association.
Government officials have partially attributed this dire situation to the recent announcement of reduced oil production by major producers Saudi Arabia and Russia earlier this month. This decision has propelled global crude prices to their highest levels in ten months.
Energy Minister Davis Chirchir, addressing the parliamentary energy committee, lamented the situation, saying, “There’s nothing much we can do… certainly the pain is heavy, it’s not going to be easy.”
The year has already witnessed a series of fervent anti-government protests in Kenya, making this surge in fuel prices another challenging chapter in the nation’s ongoing struggles.