Rising goat prices worry Mombasa residents ahead of Eid

Tuesday, June 11th, 2024 04:00 | By

As Muslims around the world prepare for Eid-al-Adha celebrations, all eyes turn to Kikowani livestock auction market where the bleating of sheep and goats rent the air.

In a few days, the faithful will flock the market – nestled in the side streets of Mombasa CBD - selecting animals for the sacrificial rites of Eid-al-Adha. Known as the Feast of Sacrifice, Eid-al-Adha is the largest of the two major Islamic holidays, commemorating Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael in obedience to God’s command.

As of yesterday, Muslim faithful began arriving, eager to purchase animals before Sunday’s celebrations, as dictated by the Islamic calendar. Yet, amid the lively commerce, voices of concern rise over the soaring prices, with animals selling for up to Sh17,000. Many shoppers, wary of further price hikes, are making their purchases early to avoid last-minute shocks. 

Unusual Eid celebrations

“The situation today is very different from previous Eid celebrations,” explains Saddam Hussein, a seasoned goat seller.

“Previously, as Eid approached, this market would be teeming with people. But now, because of the tough economy, the crowd is sparse. Nevertheless, as Eid draws nearer, the price of goats will inevitably rise. Savvy shoppers are buying now to sidestep the eventual surge,” he adds.

Hussein sources a variety of goats from pastoralists across the country, ranging from small to large, with the latter often originating from Somalia and brought in through counties like Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, and Modogashe.

Medium-sized goats, once sold at Sh7,000, now fetch Sh10,000. Business has picked up since last week and is expected to peak by the weekend. “Come Friday, a goat selling for Sh10,000 now will likely go for Sh13,000 or more,” Hussein predicts. 

Yassin Mohammed, a buyer at the market yesterday, shared his frustration over the high prices. “In the past, people could come here and get animals at fair prices. But now, the cost of living has soared, and even early shopping hasn’t helped much. It’s a situation for those with deep pockets,” he observed.

Beyond the livestock, shoppers are flocking to various commercial hubs to complete their Eid preparations. Perfume stalls are bustling with customers seeking the perfect scent for the festivities.

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