Kenya's economic landscape is teetering on the edge, with businesses facing a rising tide of financial strain as interest rates surge. 

The two-fold increase in the Central Bank of Kenya's (CBK) benchmark rate, aimed at stabilizing the struggling shilling, has inadvertently dealt a heavy blow to individuals and businesses heavily reliant on loans.

The most recent hike, a hefty 200 basis points to 12.5 per cent - the largest since 2011 - has triggered concerns about a potential debt storm on the horizon.

As the CBK prepares for its next crucial monetary policy decision this week, the air is thick with anticipation.

Experts warn that further interest rate hikes could exacerbate the situation, pushing borrowing costs even higher and further squeezing cash-strapped businesses.

This, in turn, could precipitate a surge in loan defaults and even insolvencies, potentially jeopardizing the fragile economic recovery.

The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) has urged the CBK to adopt a more lenient approach, emphasizing the detrimental impact of higher rates on economic activity and the already worrying 10-year high of 15 per cent in loan defaults.

The ramifications are already manifesting. Local newspapers are awash with advertisements for property auctions, showcasing everything from luxury vehicles and prime agricultural land to residential apartments.

Businesses and individuals alike face the stark reality of their assets going under the hammer, with court cases involving unpaid debts adding another layer of pressure.

The agricultural sector hasn't been spared either, with farms finding themselves listed for auction as farmers struggle to meet their financial obligations.

Beneath the surface of this auction frenzy lies a narrative of dashed aspirations and financial hardship.

The relentless rise in the cost of living, coupled with stagnant wages, has created a scenario where many borrowers simply cannot keep up with their loan repayments.

This confluence of economic factors has fueled a surge in loan defaults, creating a lucrative market for auctioneers profiting from others' misfortunes.

The CBK's decision this week stands at a crossroads.

Opting for further interest rate hikes could plunge the Kenyan economy deeper into financial stress, while maintaining the current rate might offer a reprieve to struggling businesses and individuals.

The chosen path will hold significant implications for the nation's economic future, impacting countless lives and businesses across the country.