Effects of Covid19 On Livelihoods in Mukuru
“I now depend on my daughter for food and medication since I had to close down my hotel business.” Says Ann.
When Covid19 hit Kenya in March 2020, no one foresaw the effects of pandemic on livelihoods. Many people were only worried and concerned about the rate of infections that were increasing on a daily basis. Few months later, curfews, lockdowns and social distancing were introduced as a way of controlling the infections.
It is with this that most of the companies/organizations had to retrench its workers to follow MOH guidelines on Covid19. A lot of people lost their jobs, others had to close down their businesses because of low productivity in the industries and even others lacked money to restock their businesses.
Ann Munyao , 53, who was badly affected by the pandemic, owned a hotel near one of the industries in Viwandani. Most of her customers were retrenched from surrounding companies translating to not having the usual number of customers she was serving before.
“ I had a hotel here in Lunga Lunga near the industries and that’s where I was getting my income from before the pandemic,” I now depend on my daughter for my food and medication since I had to close down my hotel business. Says Ann.
During the project, mapping, registration and verification of beneficiaries from the vulnerable households was done in the whole of Mukuru;- Mukuru kwa Reuben, Kayaba, Kwa Njenga and Viwandani. Ann is one of the thousands of residents who benefited from Oxfam supported project -Tuko Pamoja in Mukuru. Supporting Mukuru residents was one of the activities in the project which entailed supporting residents with 3 bars of soap, dignity kits for 3 months and 4 jerrycans of water every day for 3 months.
Through the Tuko pamoja (We’re in this together): project; a 12 Months project implementation jointly by Oxfam Wash and Gender Teams in partnership with local based organizations in Mukuru and Korogocho informal settlements, more than 2000 residents of Mukuru have benefitted with NFIs – soap, dignity kits and water.
Ann has a health condition that requires a lot of care and financial support for her medication. Most of her income she used to get was for hospital check-ups and buying medicines. With the support of the NFIs, she was able to direct that money to her medications.
“Am really grateful for this project since the items I received, I shared with my grandchildren like sanitary pads and this has also reduced some of the household expenses, I would say the support from MuYi and Oxfam came at the right time.” says Ann.
Many families are still struggling to get their lives back on track. Ann Munyao is one of the many residents in the community who find it hard to provide for themselves and ends up depending on their families or the well-wishers for support. However, there’s hope that she will go back to her hotel industry soon.