CONGESTED MARKETS

Life as usual in Nyanza despite Covid-19 prevention measures

Residents said to wait till around 10pm to roam streets as police have retreated to stations

In Summary

• Motorcycle operators ride in groups and wait in crowds at termini. The riders are also violating traffic rules by carrying more than one passenger. 

• Absence of marks directing customers where to stand in supermarket queues makes it difficult to maintain social distance. 

Congested market.
NO WORRIES: Congested market.
Image: ALPHONCE GARI

Various counties in Nyanza region have resumed normalcy, in disregard of government directives to curb the spread of Covid-19.  

In Kisumu, Kondele, Manyatta, Mamboleo, Migosi and Nyalenda areas, officers have to engage residents in running battles past 7pm every day.

Other residents still find ways to beat the officers during curfew hours, with most waiting until around 10pm to move around Kisumu town when the officers have returned to their stations.

 

A number of restaurants that were given the go-ahead to operate have resumed normal business.

“I went to one restaurant within Kisumu town, at first they were maintaining social distancing but currently, there, operation is back to normal, there is nothing like that anymore,” Kisumu resident Dan Otieno said.

This can also be witnessed in various markets put across and allowed to operate by the county government.

“We wash our hands, before we get to where the food products are being bought, but inside there is nothing like social distancing amongst the customers,” a Kisumu trader said.

In Siaya, congestion in marketplaces is the order of the day as residents struggle to beat curfew as others go about their lives without worry.

Alago Usonga residents who were hard hit by floods have diverted their attention on how they can rebuild their lives without minding social distancing in the camps.

The influx of face masks has seen many misuse them by sagging them below their chins.

 

In Migori, Kenyan police along the border with Tanzania at Isebania crossing engaged Tanzanians in running battles after President Kenyatta’s order to close the border.

Police led by Isebania OCS Alex Chepsoi and Base Commander Daniel Karani led operations to stop the flow of people from Tanzania.

“When the order came into effect, Tanzanians and Kenyans especially traders crossing the border found it hard to cross at the Isebania One-Stop Centre,” Alfred Chacha, a trader at Isebania said.

Chepsoi and Karani said despite the border being closed, officers were perturbed when they saw Tanzanian motorbikes freely operating on the Kenyan side.

“We arrested and followed some through several panya routes leading into running battles within Isebania town,” Chepsoi said.

In Homa Bay county, supermarket owners and boda boda riders have been reported not to maintain social distance as they conduct their businesses.

A spot check by Star revealed that the problem is being promoted by the absence of marks on supermarket floors directing customers where to stand as they line up to pay. Shelves are also stocked close to each other.

Most buyers stand very close to each other failing to realise the risk they pose to each other.

Motorcycle operators ride in groups and wait in crowds at termini. The riders are also violating traffic rules by carrying more than one passenger.

County boda boda association chairman Ken Dede appealed to riders to heed calls by medical experts on preventing the spread of the virus.

“Riders should encourage their customers to wash their hands regularly. They can do this by having water and soap at their areas of operation,” he said.

Edited by R.Wamochie