CURFEW KICKS IN

How curfew has changed life in Eastlands

In Summary

• Liquor store owner is complaiing he has already made Sh30,000 loss.

Residents of Pipeline estate rushing home few minutes before the 7:00 pm curfew on March 27,2020
Residents of Pipeline estate rushing home few minutes before the 7:00 pm curfew on March 27,2020
Image: MERCY MUMO

In Eastlands, and area known to be a hive of activity, complete with vibrant night activity, life as residents knew it has changed.

On Saturday, Kenyans observed Day 2 of the dusk-to-dawn curfew.

With the rains setting in early, residents from Eastlands closed their businesses and went home.

 

By 5.30pm,  traffic had started to pile up at the Kangundo-Outering Junction as people rushed home to beat the 7pm curfew.

 

Following the police brutality the previous day, no one wanted to be caught in the streets after 6.59.59pm.

On Jogoo Road, PSVs were rushing to complete their last rounds of the day.

Private motorists were also rushing to get home on time.

Along Jogoo Road, furniture shop owners carried their goods back into their stores and made their way home.

The rains began to pour around 6.30pm and went on for at least an hour.

On Saturday, many Eastlands residents locked themselves in their houses, as opposed to what happend on Friday, when many were seen standing on their balconies, watching as people rushed to beat Day 1 of the curfew. There was confusion as officers chased residents our of the streets.

 

Children could be heard singing and laughing at the balcony as their guardians were on the lookout for the police who were patrolling at night to ensure the directive was strictly followed.

 

In Jericho estate, where Camp Toyoyo grounds are found, as early as 6pm youths were making their exist.

This is a field where youths around Eastlands and beyond come to show off their talent in football and at times go until 8pm in training and practice.

However, the curfew directive forced talented youths to cut short their training routine to beat the deadline.

Fruits vendors closing up their business before the curfew time in Pipeline on March 27, 2020
Fruits vendors closing up their business before the curfew time in Pipeline on March 27, 2020
Image: MERCY MUMO

Closure of businesses

Friday night is usually the first day to usher in the weekend with ‘night life” taking over.

However, it was quiet on Saturday.

Small business owners closed early to beat the curfew.

In Eastlands , most of the shops are usually located in the estates and on the ground floors of the flats.

Mama mbogas extend their opening hours until late at night, but on Saturday, things were different.

Geoffery Kamau, 45, who has been a shopkeeper for the past seven years in Umoja One estate, said until the curfew ends his business will not be normal .

“I close my shop at 11pm every day, even during pubic holidays, but yesterday was a first to close at 6:30pm."

"Luckily, I stay around Umoja so I only needed 10 minutes to get home,” he said.

Kamau explained that during weekends he usually sold more items especially soft drinks but things have changed with the curfew.

Mohammed Hashim who owns the liquor store said he nearly lost Sh30,000 because of the curfew.

“ My business kicks off around 8pm  after people have already arrived home and want to get off some steam from their body. Yesterday I just sold take away and my daily targets were never achieved,” he said.

A water vendor clsing up business ahead of the 7:00 pm curfew on March 27,2020
A water vendor clsing up business ahead of the 7:00 pm curfew on March 27,2020
Image: MERCY MUMO

With the shortage of water facing Nairobi, water vendors are usually seen walking with carts selling the commodity.

The curfew did not spare them as business had to be put to a stop early on Saturday.

The water vendors assembled the jerry cans and tied them as they also rushed home to beat the curfew.

“Our business operations are mainly in the day time but some customers ask to be supplied with water in the evening. As much as we want to make money, It will be impossible for us to supply water at night because of the curfew,” said Dennis Omulo, a water vendor.

As we enter Day 3 of the curfew, more is expected to be witnessed as Kenyans embrace the new “curfew life” .