TOURISM

Spike in Covid -19 cases affects business in Malindi beaches

Domestic tourists visiting the resort town fear interacting with beach operators and curio sellers since the town was declared a Covid 19 hotspot

In Summary

•Normally the resort town depends on international tourists but since the pandemic began there are no foreign tourists.

•The local market is picking well so far but the stakeholders say they have challenges doing business with them.

Tourism stakeholders in the North Coast region have called on the government to come up with incentives to cushion them against the Covid 19 pandemic.

Tourism stakeholders in the North Coast region have called on the government to come up with incentives to cushion them against the Covid 19 pandemic.

They said business has been affected and they are unable to make ends meet due to the lack of international tourists who used to boost the economy.

Currently, the stakeholders among them curio operators and beach operators claimed domestic tourists do not want to interact with locals on the beach due to the pandemic.

 

Mama Consolata Ogutu said since Malindi was declared a hotspot for the Covid-19 it has been difficult for them to do business.

Speaking during a mask distribution exercise donated by Mombasa Cement through Shabir Kassamjee, a Malindi businessman, Ogutu said whenever they approach local tourists at the beach they resist claiming there is coronavirus in Malindi.

“The tourism sector is dying due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Those in authority should sit down and think of how we are going to survive,” she said.

Consolata said every morning they go to the beach, which is where they get a daily bread, to watch the empty beaches.

She said it's time the government supports them during the pandemic so as to sustain themselves until the situation resumes to normal.

Mombasa Cement donated 4,000 masks, which were distributed to stakeholders and even the youth doing Kazi mtaani.

Kassammjee said the company could increase donations.

 

He said the efficiency of distribution of the masks would enable Mombasa Cement to add more.

“When distributing we would like you to sensitise people on how to wear these masks, which are not supposed to be worn below the nose, but must cover the entire nose as the virus penetrates easily through the nose than the mouth,” he said.

George Kombe, one of the supervisors of Kazi Mtaani in Malindi, said the youth had challenges but since they were offered the opportunity they are able to sustain themselves.

Kombe thanked Mombasa Cement for helping them with the masks.

“There are others who cannot afford to get masks, and police chase them for failure to wear them. We thank Mombasa Cement for this support”‚ he said.

Kombe said over 1,300 youths who got the jobs in Kazi Mtaani in Malindi will be jobless in January and called on the government to extend the programme.

Kate Mwikali, the chairperson of Malindi Progressive Welfare Association who coordinated the masks distribution, challenged the Kazi Mtaani youth to begin innovation using the little funds they get from their jobs.

''Kazi Mtaani will come to an end. It was just a platform to enable you to add value to the earning you get. You can begin a Sacco, a soap-making project and approach companies to buy from you,'' she said.

Edited by Kiilu Damaris