Counties

Mombasa's Timbawani ward records 95pc job losses on Covid woes

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Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • In March, President Uhuru Kenyatta imposed a dusk to dawn — 7am to 5am — curfew, banned international and local passenger flights as well as in and out movement in Mombasa, Nairobi, Kilifi and Kwale to contain the disease.
  • The directive had a negative financial impact on the tourism and hospitality industries. Consequently, many businesses shut down, rendering hundreds jobless.

At least 95 per cent of Timbwani ward residents in Mombasa have lost their main sources of livelihood due to the Covid-19 pandemic economic disruption, an assessment conducted by the French medical NGO Médecins Sans Frontières shows.

“Most lost their sources of livelihood while many others reported experiencing high costs of living, increased financial needs, challenges meeting their basic needs and others had challenges purchasing the necessary hygiene supplies,” said the NGO in a report.

In March, President Uhuru Kenyatta imposed a dusk to dawn — 7am to 5am — curfew, banned international and local passenger flights as well as in and out movement in Mombasa, Nairobi, Kilifi and Kwale to contain the disease.

The directive had a negative financial impact on the tourism and hospitality industries. Consequently, many businesses shut down, rendering hundreds jobless.

“Respondents reported increased theft and robbery, which could be attributed to the tough economic situation, with many youths being idle and unemployed,” the study shows.

Despite the reopening of the economy by President Uhuru, low number of tourists as well depressed occupancy rates at hotels threatened more livelihoods.

Voluntary testing

Moreover, it found that 79 per cent of residents as willing to undergo voluntary Covid-19 testing to know their status as well as protect others.

“Those who would not go for voluntary testing mostly feared the unknown meaning they did not fully understand the disease and what would follow should they test positive,” it adds.

Seventy-four per cent of respondents are also willing to go into home-based care while those who do not attributed factors such as fear of infecting family members, a lack of isolation capacity due to the nature of their houses and living (such as Swahili houses and a lack of expertise by caregivers.

“Different families are living in one building; they share the wash room, bathroom and kitchen together,” the report shows.