Almost six out of every 10 Kenyans think 2018 has been a year of hardship with high cost of living and unemployment being the leading problems.
A new opinion poll by TIFA research shows that 56 per cent of Kenyans described 2018 as a bad year compared to 43 per cent who thought it has been good.
Some 58 per cent of those sampled in the study conducted between December 19 to 21 said the high cost of living was the main challenge during the year.
Unemployment is ranked second at 14 per cent.
“A combination of these two coupled with lack of access to credit and poverty had a negative impact on the livelihoods of Kenyans,” the survey report released on Thursday showed.
Lack of access to credit was ranked third place at six per cent and political tension and poverty at five per cent.
Only one per cent of people though corruption was a challenge in the year.
The survey was conducted across the country reaching sample size of 1,267 in rural and urban areas.
The TIFA funded study was conducted through face to face interview.
In terms of regions, residents of Nyanza region were the leading in recording the year as tough at 67 percent followed by the Coast region at 61 percent.
Some 59 per cent of the Central region resident felt 2018 has been bad followed by Rift Valley at 57.
Eastern, Nairobi and Western tied at 52 per cent while Northerneastern had the least record (30 per cent) of bad year perception.
However, 36 percent of the people sampled felt that 2018 has been better than 2017.
A similar research towards the end of 2017 had only 12 percent rate that year as better. .
TIFA dn researchers think the rise in “better” perception index is attributed to the fact that “2017 was marked by election upheavals and tensions which dissipated in 2018 after the “handshake” between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga.”
Regarding the political climate, the report says “at least half of Kenyans felt that the political climate and security situation improved.”
Further, the researchers also believe that the hardship perception by 2018 can be attributed to the some laws that tightened the economic conditions in the country.
“In November 2018, the 12-month inflation was at a high of 5.581 and this was after the introduction of VAT on petroleum products and also introduction of levies on mobile and cash transfers,” the report reads in part.
Regarding employment prospects, the report says “Kenyans were [also] hit by job losses as a number of companies downsized in a bid to stay afloat following a tough political year that affected the economy.”
Concerning the fight against corruption, the respondents showed high confidence on President Kenyatta’s effort at 76 percent, followed by DPP Noordin Haji (69), DCI George Kinoti (65) and Judiciary at 53 percent.
The police is trailing the pack at 25 per cent in public confidence level in the fight against corruption.
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