• Traders say most of them had acquired huge loans and it will be difficult to repay on time because markets have been closed.
• Closure of markets has hurt business.
Traders in West Pokot are asking the government to extend their loan repayment periods because of the coronavirus threat.
They are counting their losses after open-air markets were closed to prevent the spread of the virus.
“We have take bank loans and the closure of the market has really affected us. We don’t know where we shall get funds to repay the loan on time,” trader Sheila Nasimiyu at Makutano town said.
Nasimiyu sold perishable goods at the market and closure means she will incur huge losses.
“I had bought my stock and by the county losing this market I will have to incur huge losses.
"My tomatoes, vegetables and other food will rot in the 30-day closure," she said.
She asked the county government to give perishable-goods traders two days to sell off their produce before closing the market.
West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo issued a directive closing all open-air and livestock markets for 30 days following the outbreak of the coronavirus in the county.
Trader Peter Were said that they are not against the closure of the markets but asked the government to ask banks to extend the period for repaying their loans.
Were said the outbreak has crippled services in all sectors and asked lending institutions to heed the pleas of their customers.
(Edited by V. Graham)