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Inside Communities: How Coronavirus Is Impacting Lives And Small Businesses

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Joyce's hotel that was previously serving 600 guest in a day has now reduced to 150.

The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is the most serious global health security threat in decades.

With restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the virus, how will communities without a SAFETY net navigate these times?

Tazama World, a community focused journalism initiative led by their editor James Smart went on a mission to find out just how much COVID-19 has impacted and found out the community is being pushed to the edge. Some of the reactions are as follows;

Joyce Omondi, 42, Hotel Owner.

With a business that has 8 workers, serving 600 people in a day, she says her customers have reduced to 150. Her income has plummeted from 15K to 3K.

“We hope this ends quickly and that GOK people know what they are doing in handling this crisis.”

Joyce at her hotel.

Josphat Musyoka – 54 years, Boda Boda rider

As it so happens, riders are refusing to share helmets, Musyoka says this has introduced a new extortion scheme by police. They demand 500 per ride.

“Customers want their own helmets and to be assured that we have fumigated them.”

Josphat Musyoka.

Christopher Otieno Juma- 50 Years Carpenter.

“Before news of the Virus, I used to make 150k a month. We have the capacity to make 10 beds a week. At the moment, we only have 3 beds on order, after this, we have no new orders.”

Christopher at work.

Mary Anyango- 29. Beautician

“Since last week I have got no phone calls from my regular customers. I have tried to call them to find out especially those who I normally work for but they have gone cold.”

Mary attending to a customer.

Philemon Okello, 48, Tailor

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“Usually, I would be at my customers’ offices in the morning doing fittings and receiving orders, our business relationship has been like this for years.
I don’t know how to access my customers now that they are working from home.”

Philemon armed with his hand wash soap.

Elizabeth Wanjiku – 41. Mama Mboga

“Stocks are reducing in some items like cabbages, tomatoes, and fruits. Suppliers are telling us that the routes have been affected because some of these things come out of the country.”

Elizabeth during her interview with James Smart.

Michael Owino- 47, Cobbler
“On a good day, I can make between 500 to 700 per day. My income today is 240, truth is it’s not going to keep me afloat for a long time.”

Michael at work.

Irene Otieno- 35, Omena businesswoman

“I sell Omena for Ksh. 30 there’s no way my customers are switching the mode of payment to MPESA so ill take the money and hope for the best. I have children to feed.”

Irene Otieno at her kiosk.

Winfred Kalori – 40 Hotel Owner

“My profits have plummeted to 500 per day from 3,000 shillings. If this continues I may have to let go, my two employees, since I don’t see how to keep this going for long.”

Kalori enduring the hand wash is available for her customers.

Reporting By James Smart.


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Kenya West is a trained investigative independent journalist and a socio-political commentator on matters Kenya and Africa. Do you have a story, Scandal you want me to write on? Send me tips to [in.kenyawest@protonmail.com]

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