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17% of Kenyans sleep hungry often – TIFA report

A new report by Trends and Insights For Africa (TIFA) Research, shows that hunger and economic hardship are the main problems facing Kenyans in their local areas, regardless of their political affiliation.

The report, which was released on Wednesday, focused on the 2022 elections, the performance of the Ruto government, and the main issues affecting Kenyans.

According to the report, nearly one-in-five Kenyans (17 percent) report that they and/or other household members “always” or “often” sleep hungry, while more than half (53 percent) say this is “sometimes” or “rarely” the case. Only 29 percent say this is “never” the case.

The report also shows that there is a slight difference between the supporters of the two main political coalitions, Azimio and Kenya Kwanza, in terms of their experience of hunger.

While 20 percent of Azimio supporters say they “always” or “often” sleep hungry, only 14 percent of Kenya Kwanza supporters say the same. Conversely, 56 percent of Kenya Kwanza supporters say they “never” sleep hungry, compared to 44 percent of Azimio supporters.

The high cost of living, hunger/drought and unemployment are by far the most frequently mentioned problems that people are facing in their local areas, according to the report.

The report also assesses the perceived successes and failures of the Ruto government, which came to power in August 2022 after defeating Raila Odinga’s Azimio coalition. The launch of the Hustler Fund, a program that provides interest-free loans to small businesses and youth groups, receives far more mentions (29%) as an early success of the government than any other policy initiative or legislative enactment. This applies equally to Kenya Kwanza and Azimio supporters.

The next most frequent mentions as successes are subsidized fertilizer (5%), greater national unity (4%) and enhanced security (4%). However, these are overshadowed by the perceived failures of the government, which are mainly related to economic hardship. The most common failures cited by respondents are unfulfilled campaign promises (23%), high cost of living (22%), unemployment (18%) and corruption (12%).

The report concludes that the Ruto government faces a major challenge in addressing the economic woes of Kenyans, especially as the country heads towards another election cycle in 2027.

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