JCTR: cost of living increases

The Cost of living for a family of six increased by K54,000 for the month of November 2009 from K2,200,630 in October to K2,254,630 in November.

According to the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) Basic Needs Basket,a survey that monitors the cost of living for a family of six taking into account basic food commodities and essential non-food commodities,the adjustment was mainly influenced by the cost of food items,which increased from K748,800 to K807,500.

A 25kg bag of mealie meal increased on average by K2,300 from K60,000 in October to k62,300 in November.

Other food items with substantial price rises include Siavonga Kapenta from k48,6000 to k60,600 per kg while dry fish increased by k13,100 from k47,500 to k60,600 for the same quantity.

JCTR Social Conditions Programme Coordinator, Miniva Chibuye said that  with the current scenario of high commodity prices, the effects of climate change present serious consequences for household ability to meet or afford food needs.

Ms Chibuye said while appreciating the complexities associated with international negotiations, the challenge for developing countries at the Copenhagen conference will be to negotiate for the needed space to make their economies grow while getting developed countries to bring low emission technologies needed for industrial advancement.

She said failure to do this may result in perpetual poverty in developing countries,adding that climate change is not just an environmental issue, but a developmental and moral issue.

Ms.Chibuye further stated that while responses should be anchored on global agreements, individual countries must take responsibility in adapting home grown responses to deal with the crisis.

She said one of the most important mitigating measures that Zambia could embark on would be to conduct rigorous assessments of which crops would benefit from increased temperatures and longer hot seasons.

She added that the JCTR reiterates the need for the government to immediately address the challenges to agricultural development in the country.

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