How Kenyans Live on Ksh150 a Day in Nairobi

Photo of Nairobi City County.
  • According to a recent study by the Ipsos Public Affairs on the estimated total monthly income, about half of Kenyans earn less than Ksh10,000 a month while approximately two percent have no income at all. 

    The numbers increased in the recent past due to economic disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, about 1.7 million Kenyans lost their jobs due to the pandemic according to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

    In order to cope with the city life, most Kenyans have been creative enough to survive with just Ksh150 or even less a day after sorting out the landlord. Here is how they have been doing it:

    Daily Fare

    Most Kenyans in this category stay near their workplaces and can walk to work every day to save the cost.

    Residents of Mukuru Kwa Reuben are close to the Industrial Area and can walk to work while Kawangware residents are also close to Westlands and would walk to work to save cost. 

    The same is possible for those working in Nairobi CBD and staying in Pumwani, Shauri Moyo, and Majengo, and Kibera areas.

    Photo of Nairobi City County.
    Daily Nation


    Food is quite cheap in Nairobi and what is even more important is the fact that vibanda are available near every workplace.

    In the morning, these people walk into the nearby kibanda and spend only Ksh40 which include a cup of tea and sweet potato.

    During lunch, they walk to the same kibanda to have Ndengu/rice or Ndengu/chapatis from as low as Ksh50. For those working in the construction sites, it is even easier because there are many women who prepare food and take them to the site.

    An aerial view of Kibra slum in Nairobi, Kenya.
    An aerial view of Kibra slum in Nairobi, Kenya.

    During super, mama mboga is always at their service in their respective estates. Here, with only Ksh20 they get kales and onions enough for the night. 

    The most interesting thing is the fact that cooking fats are packaged from as low as Ksh10 and are available in various shops.

     For those using kerosene to cook, they are available from various sources from as low as Ksh40. This is how guys survive. If you didn’t know, now you know.