THE Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) says
the cost of living in Zambia has continued to rise.
Monthly surveys for prices of a basic needs basket for a family of six of both food and non-food items conducted by the JCTR in several retail outlets of Lusaka and other urban areas showed an increase in the price of food.
According to JCTRâ€™s October basic needs basket, the cost of basic food was recorded at K549,050 in Lusaka, K571,700, in Ndola, Luanshya K537,900, Kabwe K511,180 and Livingstone K534,850.
Compared to September, the JCTR notes an upward adjustment in the range of K5,750 to K45,500 in the cost of basic foods in all the towns.
JCTR notes that while Lusaka recorded some reduction in the cost of a 25Kg bag of breakfast mealie meal, Kabwe, Luanshya and Ndola recorded increases.
In Livingstone, there was no change in the cost of breakfast mealie meal.
JCRT also noted increases in the price of a kilogramme of beans in Lusaka, Kabwe, Luanshya and Ndola.
While Luanshya recorded a decrease of K3,400 in the price of a kilogramme of dry fish, Lusaka, Kabwe, Livingstone and Ndola recorded increases.
The price of a kilogram of mixed cut beef also increased in Ndola, Luanshya, Livingstone and Lusaka, while Kabwe experienced some reduction.
In terms of non-food items, the price of charcoal increased in Lusaka, Luanshya and Ndola while in Kabwe it remained stable as in September.
Lusaka recorded reductions in wash and bath soap including Vaseline.
JCTR points out that expansion of household expenditure choices has remained Zambiaâ€™s major challenge.
It attributes the challenge in household expenditure to high cost of living, HIV and AIDS, household vulnerability to shocks, high unemployment levels and inadequate or absent non-farm income generating activities.
â€œThe inadequate household expenditure choices is not of a cursory nature, but is a daily lived reality as revealed by the monthly survey of prices of a Basic Needs Basket for a family of six of both food and non-food items conducted by the JCTR in several retail outlets of Lusaka and other urban areas,â€™â€™