Monday, May 7, 2012

Malawian kwacha devalued today

There has been talk about devaluing the kwacha but today it happened.  It went from 165 kwacha/$1.00 and now it is 265 kwacha/$1.00.   A store called Game (the one that was bought out by Walmart and few months ago) was closed this afternoon so that they can change all their prices.  We were told everything will go up by 60%.  The grocery store was open (thank goodness) and the missionaries were able to do their shopping for the week.  I think they shopped for 2 weeks since tomorrow their prices will jump dramatically too.    We also went shopping and spent most of the kwacha that we have and stocked up on meat and canned goods mostly.  We spent about $350 worth.  Thank goodness we have a little chest freezer. 
As people got off work and hurried to the grocery store it was very busy and some things were disappearing off the shelves. Everyone is taking advantge before tomorrow.    It is the Malawians that will really suffer.  I have no idea what this is going to do to the people here who already struggle to make enough to feed their families.  People will lose jobs too.    
We are just fine because we have some U.S. dollars.  We don't know what the black market exchange rate will be now -- it will take a week or two to sort itself out probably.     I suppose with a bit of time things will settle down and be okay again, at least we sure hope so.   We know what happened in Zimbabwe and sure hope Malawi doesn't do the same.

No comments: