Economy

Fuel stations go cashless along Eldoret-Uganda highway to curb Corona

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Cards are swiped after sanitising. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Fuel stations on the Eldoret-Uganda highway have adopted a cashless system to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Some filling stations on the stretch no longer accept cash in fear of contracting the deadly virus through paper money.

Philip Koskei, the Stabex International head of strategy and administration, says the increasing Covid-19 cases in Uasin Gishu County and the majority of them being truck drivers, fuel filing stations have decided to avoid cash transactions.

“We have been alarmed by the increasing Covid-19 cases in this region, especially along the highway, which is making our staff highly exposed to the disease due to the interaction with the long distance drivers,” said Mr Koskei.

“Chances are high that the cash money exchanged may be contaminated,” he said during the launch of the cashless plan.

Uasin Gishu County has reported more than 70 Covid-19 cases, most which attributed to contacts with truck drivers heading to Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo and South Sudan.

This has forced many traders along the route to opt for cashless transactions and use of credit cards, especially on establishments adjacent to the busy Kenya-Uganda highway.

Mr Koskei said credit cards are swiped after sanitising.

“We have noted that it is easy to disinfect a credit card unlike paper money and we are hopeful the spread of the disease through paper money will be minimised.”

He asked other establishments to “follow suit and opt for this method to reduce the chances of being exposed to the disease.”

Bus companies plying the route have also adopted the new system.

Eldo Moc Matatu Sacco secretary Baraiwo Rono said they have subscribed to the cashless transaction not only in refuelling but even payment of fare by their customers.

“We have opted for the cashless transaction because money passes through a lot of hands and in the process exposed to contamination,” Mr Rono said.

“The transport sector is very critical and risky especially during this era of the pandemic.”

Kenya’s Covid-19 cases have risen to 4,952 since March.