COVID-19 EFFECTS

Traders still struggling despite review of curfew hours

President Kenyatta reviewed the onset of the curfew hours from 7 to 9pm meaning increased working hours, but this has not been of much help to various businesses.

In Summary
  • A spot check in various businesses in Nairobi revealed that despite the increased working hours , businesses were still facing hard times due to Covid-19.
  • The wines and spirits industry however seems to be benefiting slightly from the increased hours.
Gilbert Musembi said the Covid-19 pandemic has hurt sales.
LOW INCOME: Gilbert Musembi said the Covid-19 pandemic has hurt sales.
Image: LINAH MUSANGI

Small scale traders are still grappling with low business volumes despite the reduction of curfew hours.

In his last Covid-19 address, President Uhuru Kenyatta reviewed the onset of the curfew hours from 5am to 7pm pushing this to run from 4am to 9 pm to 9pm. 

This was aimed at giving the public more working hours, but so far this has not paid dividends to some traders.

A spot check in various parts of Nairobi showed that despite the increased working hours , businesses were still facing hard times occasioned by the  Covid-19 pandemic.

 
 

“People still don’t have money and some still take goodS on credit at my shop therefore the increased working hours have not really made business better,” said Anastacia Kanini who runs a kiosk and grocery shop in Syokimau.

Kanini said that despite the increased working hours she still closes her shop early as she doesn’t have many customers due to the hard economic times most people are facing.

Mercy Engefu who sells clothes at Gachie market said her business is still low as people are at this time prioritising food and not clothes.

“Most clients tell me that they can always re-use clothes but getting a meal is a problem therefore business is still grappling,” said Mercy.

The salon and grooming industry also took a hit from Covid-19 and increased curfew hours have not made it any better.

“People are still grooming themselves to look better but the number of clients is still low despite the increased working hours so we still close early,” said Hellen Mwikali, a salonist in Kiambu area.

She added that some clients prefer being groomed at the comfort of their homes to avoid overcrowding, thus curfew did not affect them.

 
 

Ann Laban, a kiosk owner in Mlolongo area said her usual customers were accustomed to the 7pm curfew so even if she stays open until 9, they will be no customer in sight therefore she has not benefited from the increased hours.

“When life goes back to normal, maybe we can see a bigger change,” she said.

The wines and spirits industry however seems to be benefiting slightly from the increased hours.

“After adjustment of curfew hours most of my clients come to buy drinks at night so there is a slight increase in profit compared to the time we used to close by 7 pm,” said Catherine Njoki, who owns a wines and spirits shop in Gachie.