Motorists fuel at Shell Petrol station along Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi on September 15, 2023. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Machakos governor Wavinya Ndeti has urged President William Ruto to take urgent measures to bring down the cost of fuel.

The governor, who spoke at Our Lady of Lourdes Machakos Cathedral during a funds drive Saturday afternoon, said the increase in fuel prices will trigger inflation across all other sectors of the economy, making life more difficult, especially for poor Kenyan households. 

Kenyans will be hit hard by the latest hikes in the cost of petroleum products that crossed the Sh200 mark for the first in the country's history.

In Thursday's review of fuel prices by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra), kerosene registered the steepest climb to Sh202.61 per litre in Nairobi, a historical high.

The new price is an 18 per cent jump from Sh175.22 kerosene was retailing at over the fuel pricing cycle to September 14.

The increase in fuel prices will further push up the cost of living for many poor households that use kerosene for cooking and lighting in both urban and rural Kenya.

Motorists too have not been spared with super petrol now selling at Sh211.64 per litre in Nairobi from Sh194.68, while a litre of diesel has increased to Sh200.9 per litre from Sh179.67.

The new development, Wavinya said, will inflict more pain on the already overburdened Kenyans who have been weighed down by heavy taxation. 

"We are asking President Ruto to find a way to cushion Kenyans from the skyrocketing fuel prices because the cost of many other essential commodities will most likely shoot up," said Wavinya. 

  Machakos governor Wavinya Ndeti at Our Lady of Lourdes Machakos Cathedral in Machakos County during a funds drive on Saturday, September 16, 2023. [Erastus Mulwa, Standard] 

She noted that the high fuel prices could also trigger an economic slowdown due to the limited movement of goods and people. 

"We are likely to experience a slowdown of economic activities in the country due to the high cost of transportation. The current sad state of affairs in the country should be addressed as a matter of urgency through an urgent fiscal intervention," Wavinya said.

The government’s withdrawal of subsidies was among the factors that led to the sharp increase in pump prices. Other factors that pushed up the costs of fuel include the weakening of the shilling, trading at over 150 against the dollar.

Meanwhile, Wavinya announced that her government has procured assorted seeds worth Sh150 million that will be distributed to farmers across the county ahead of the expected El Nino rains. 

"My plan is to ensure maximum food production across the county by supporting farmers. We seek to promote interventions that will make Machakos a food-secure county," she said.

Fuel prices Wavinya Ndeti President Willima Ruto Epra