NO RETURN TO NOMARLCY YET

Traders to encounter more losses due to extension of cessation in Eastleigh

Nairobi leads with the number of cases confirmed and no estate has been spared.

In Summary

•The partial lockdown extension rubbed off the Eastleigh residents with some claiming that they are being targeted as a community.

Streets of Eastleigh this morning minimal activities.Photo/Fredrick Omondi
Streets of Eastleigh this morning minimal activities.Photo/Fredrick Omondi

Business Community will continue to endure losses as the Eastleigh cessation gets extended following Government’s directive.

On Wednesday, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe announced the cessation in both Eastleigh and Mombasa Old Town having being extended until June 6, 2020, to curb the spread of Coronavirus.

This comes as Nairobi continues to lead with the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases.

Out of 1,109 nationwide coronavirus confirmed cases, Nairobi leads with 537, followed by Mombasa with 381 as of May 21, 2020.

The partial lockdown extension rubbed off the Eastleigh residents with some claiming that they are being targeted as a community.

Eastleigh North MCA Osman Adow on Wednesday said that the decision to extend the cessation was a form of punishment to the community.

“This is totally unacceptable. It’s no longer about health but the targeting of communities intended to punish,” he said.

The past two weeks have been hard not only for Eastleigh residents but also for the other people living beyond the boundaries but work there.

First Avenue in Eastleigh is seen deserted after residents remained indoors and business premises remained shut.
First Avenue in Eastleigh is seen deserted after residents remained indoors and business premises remained shut.
Image: FREDERICK OMONDI

At least 200,000 people move in and out of Eastleigh daily for business and have equally been affected following the cessation directives.

“ I live in Komarock but work in one of the malls as an attendant in one of the clothes shop. I can’t even tell if after the cessation I will still be employed, “said Nick Ocholla.

 

“I earn my wages weekly and for the past two weeks, I have been surviving on my little savings which cannot be enough to sustain me and my two children until ext month,” said Asha Kerubo.

A different Idd-ul-Fitr celebration will also be witnessed as the Muslim holy month of Ramadhan comes to an end over the weekend.

People crowding to buy foodstuff in the shopping centres and malls as well as clothes for the celebrations won't be experienced as preventative measures against Covi-19 are strictly to be observed.

However, certain positive phenomenon has also been noted during this ‘lockdown period.

The Nairobi Metropolitan Service launched a Covid-19 mass testing programme across all the 17 sub-counties in the capital.

It kicked off at Kamkunji Sub-county, targeting the Eastleigh community.

Residents of Eastleigh during donation of food stuffs by the Eastleigh Business community at Eastleigh High School on May 20, 2020.
Residents of Eastleigh during donation of food stuffs by the Eastleigh Business community at Eastleigh High School on May 20, 2020.
Image: COURTESY

Food Donation

On Wednesday, over 500 families benefited from the Eastleigh Business Food Donation initiative, where they received cooking oil, flour, soaps, rice, sugar and toilet papers.

The exercise took place at Eastleigh High School and was attended by Kamkunji Mp Yusuf Hassan, where the preventative measures were strictly observed and food was equally distributed without discrimination of religion or gender.

The initiative was started by the business community that came together to help less disadvantaged in the society as the battle to curb the spread of Covid-19 persists.

However, the Eastleigh residents are calling upon the government to provide for the less fortunate as the partial lockdown period continues.

“Since we cannot go beyond the boundaries, we have families who are struggling are living hand to mouth, the government should provide relief food, “said Mariam Iman, resident.

“ With two more weeks away from our workplaces, the government should step in and donate food to us,” said Jeremy Mutua, resident.

Residents of Eastleigh during donation of food stuffs by the Eastleigh Business community at Eastleigh High School on May 20, 2020.
Residents of Eastleigh during donation of food stuffs by the Eastleigh Business community at Eastleigh High School on May 20, 2020.
Image: COURTESY

National Hygiene Programme

Two weeks ago, Eastleigh Youth Association chairman David Odhiambo told the Star that the cessation had left youths unhappy, stranded and unemployed.

The Government’s decision to extend the cessation has still brought disappointment among the youths but some are grateful to be benefiting from the Kazi Mtaani, National Hygiene Programme.

On May 13, 2020, Kamkunji Mp Yusuf Hassan acknowledged the recruitment had started in all sections of Eastleigh, urging the youths to take advantage of the opportunity.

Odhiambo explained to the Star that the association had given their recommendations to the government to consider recruiting youth from Kamkunji Sub County for the programme.

“At least the state heard our cry and now we have youths, in Airbase we have at least 450 youths in the programme and other wards within the administrative border that have also joined,” he said.

The youths are said to earn at least Sh650 per day which according to the association is better than nothing.

Last month, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the initiative - Kazi Mtaani and National Hygiene Programme ( NHP as one of the economic stimulus measures for informal settlements in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kiambu, Kisumu, Nakuru, Kilifi, Mandera and Kwale against the coronavirus pandemic.

The programme involves the jobless in urban hygiene and sanitation works in 23 informal settlements countrywide.

The beneficiaries earn daily wages payable at least twice a week through mobile money transfers.

They are engaged in sanitation and environment preservation duties such as garbage collection, bush clearing, drainage unclogging, and cleaning, fumigating and disinfecting access paths and streets.