By Nsunjo Erica
A survey that was conducted between September 24th and October 2nd shows that at least 76% of Kenyans know someone or a family member evicted from their residence for nonpayment of rent after the outbreak of COVID-19.
The study also found that 47 percent of Kenyans experienced the loss of employment after COVID-19 hit six months ago. Additionally, another 42 percent said their income from self-employment or casual labor had significantly reduced.
The survey further revealed, 23 percent of Kenyans had experienced reduced earnings from formal employment while 5% said their children’s education had been disrupted as a result of COVID-19.
Three-quarters of the 555 respondents also said they know someone or a family member evicted from their residence for nonpayment of rent according to the study.
Kenyans who were employed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic totaling to about more than nine-tenth (94%) explained that currently, the situation worsened and that they are now earning either “very little” or “nothing” of what they had been earning before the pandemic.
An earlier survey conducted in April had found that only 33 percent of Kenyans were working but the latest report found that the number has increased to 64% with respondents recording formal/self-employment or full- or part-time jobs.
The survey also found other significant changes that respondents experienced including the need to mind children at home (4 percent); inability to pay rent (3 percent); need to feed children at home more (3 percent)
Additionally, more changes included loss of friends or damage to personal relationships (3%); unable to visit rural home/separation of the family (2%); increased family tensions (2%), and self-restricted movement from residence (2%).
Measures taken by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19 over the last seven months have resulted in job loss, loss of remittances, higher commodity prices, heightened insecurity, and disruption to health care services and education.
Government restrictions that included the night-time curfew, crowd-limitation, and ‘social isolation’ measures, have pushed citizens to the wall, businesses have frozen since it’s difficult for people to freely meet.
“Given the restrictions initially placed on movement in and out of this county as well as a night-time curfew, crowd-limitation, and ‘social isolation’ measures, many people have found it difficult to ‘make ends meet’, especially those in the lower-income areas captured in this survey,” The TIFA poll report reads.
The rate at which citizens especially the lower-income earners are being forcefully dragged into poverty due to the pandemic is alarming, companies continue laying off workers as the pandemic continues to bit hard.