, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 27 – 56 per cent of Kenyans described 2018 as a difficult year in an end-year opinion poll by Trends and Insights For Africa (TIFA).
High cost of living was cited as the main challenge by 58 per cent of 1,267 respondents interviewed nationwide between Wednesday and Friday last week.
According to the survey released on Thursday, 43 per cent of Kenyans described 2018 as a good year, unemployment ranking the second most significant challenge after cost of living at 14 per cent.
Other reasons cited by respondents who described 2018 as a bad year include low access to credit and poverty at six and five per cent respectively.
Political tension and poor healthcare were also mentioned by the 56 per cent of respondents who described 2018 as a bad year, the two listing at five and three per cent respectively.
Strikes by lecturers and doctors, at four percent, were also listed as key concerns by the respondents who expressed disappointment with the state of affairs in 2018.
The Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) signed a return to work formula with the government on May 17, ending a 78-day strike by public university lecturers that had commenced on March 1.
The strike was the fourth in as many months, UASU having declared three strikes in 2017 that lasted a cumulative 108 days.
Interestingly, corruption was the least of the challenges that made life unbearable for Kenyans at one per cent.
Compared to 2017 however, 2018 was a significantly better year, 36 per cent of respondents saying the current year was better.
A similar survey in 2017 had showed only 12 per cent of respondents said the year was better than 2016.
Those rating the year as worse declined from 75 per cent in 2017 to 48 per cent in 2018.
The TIFA poll also reported an impressive 91 per cent satisfaction rate in the manner in which national examinations were managed.
According to the poll, 55 per cent of 1,267 respondents interviewed nationwide said they were “very satisfied” with the management of Kenya Certificate of Primary Education and the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education, another 36 per cent indicating they were “satisfied.”
The study listed 7 per cent of the respondents as “dissatisfied” with two per cent indicating they were “very dissatisfied.”
On the ongoing corruption purge, President Uhuru Kenyatta, Director of Public Prosecutions Nordin Haji, and Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti were listed top performers in the anti-corruption.
The three attained an approval rating of 76, 69, and 65 per cent respectively.
53 per cent of the 1,267 respondents interviewed nationwide approved efforts by the judiciary to combat corruption.
The National Police Service had an approval rating of 25 per cent.
52 per cent of respondents supported jail terms for top government officials found culpable of corruption, 49 per cent recommending arrests of those suspected to be engaging in corruption.
24 per cent of respondents however recommended expedited hearing of corruption cases.
The pollster reported a +/- three per cent margin of error and a 95 per cent degree of confidence.