BUSINESSES HURT

Mwingi traders lament low profits over Covid-19

Say extension of curfew and containment of five counties could lead to business closures.

In Summary

• Led by Benard Munyasya, the trades said President Uhuru Kenyatta's extension of stern measures to control the coronavirus on Saturday could lead business closures. 

• Munyasya, who operates Senator Butchery at Garissa stage in Mwingi town said fewer customers have been buying meat from him.

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

Some Mwingi traders have decried decreased incomes caused by Covid-19 outbreak over two months ago.

Led by Benard Munyasya, the trades said President Uhuru Kenyatta's extension of stern measures to control the coronavirus on Saturday could lead to business closures. 

The President extended the dusk to dawn curfew and containment of five counties with increased cases of Covid-19 by 21 days. Uhuru also closed Tanzania and Somalia borders in a bid to battle the pandemic.

 

Munyasya, who operates Senator Butchery at Garissa stage in Mwingi town, said fewer customers have been buying meat from him.

He mostly depended on customers on transit but since people were asked to stay home, clients have dwindled.

Brian Paul a fish vendor in Mwingi town
HURT BUSINESS: Brian Paul a fish vendor in Mwingi town
Image: LINAH MUSANGI

Munyasya said he would sell between 80-120 kgs in a day before Covid-19 but he now sells only 30-50kgs daily.

“The dusk to dawn curfew among other directives has been a blow to my business and the fact that there is a limited movement has made things worse,” Munyasya said.

He said that the Mwingi slaughterhouse has been slaughtering fewer animals.

“Today, they slaughtered only three cows, unlike before where they used to do more than 15 cows a day,” he said.

Musembi Gilbert, who sells eggs in Mwingi town, said his business is not doing well but he has to keep pushing on to be able to foot his bills.

A woman hawks fruits at Garissa stage in Mwingi town
A woman hawks fruits at Garissa stage in Mwingi town
Image: LINAH MUSANGI

The wholesaler said his sales have drastically gone down especially when Mwingi town recorded two cases of Covid-19.

 

“Most people kept away from Mwingi town when the town recorded two positive cases of coronavirus, this is highly affecting my egg business,” Musembi said.

Musembi said he sells fewer crates of eggs compared to before where he would sell over 50 crates. 

Brian Paul, a fish vendor, said it was surprising that the food business has been adversely affected too.

“I thought people have to eat but this is proving otherwise as I go home with much stock,” Paul said.

Despite frying the fish and selling from as low as Sh50 a piece, his income has remained low. 

Mama Mercy said that her vegetable business is doing badly as people in her neighbourhood have travelled to their rural areas.

“People have gone home especially now that schools closed over Covid-19,” she said.

(edited by o. owino)