By Constance Ndeleko
Survey by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS)
The objectives of the survey was to assess the socio-economic impact of Kenya especially during this pandemic, measure its impact on their health, labor market, transport cost and housing sector, awareness and appropriate measures taken.
Although majority of respondents (64.8%) were aged between 18 and 39 years. Females -52% while Males – 48% we will also elaborate how the result of this survey affect children as second respondents.
- Nationally, majority of Kenyans reported the source of information on the Coronavirus as Radio (82.0 %) and Television (63.3%).
- 17% of the households reported having at least one member with a pre-existing medical condition
- One out of every eight households reported that a member sought health services during the period under review with majority (30.5%) seeking the services from government hospital.
- Nationally, 30.5 Per Cent of households were unable to pay rent on the agreed date with the landlord. Reduced income/earnings (52.9%) was the main reason for inability by households to pay rent. Approximately 59.8 per cent of those who usually pay rent on agreed date were able to pay rent for the month of April on time.
- About two in three (65.3%) males were in the labor force while slightly more than half (51.2%) of the females were found to be outside the labor force in the reference period. Almost half of the respondents who were absent from work said that it was due to lockout or stay away instructions as guided by the Government and/or employers. Nine out of ten persons who were absent from work due to stay away or lockdown were not sure when they would be returning to work.
- Nationally, more than half (57.9) of the households have members who usually attend learning institutions. Home schooling was reported as the main coping mechanism used by majority (42.8%) of the households to continue with learning. Notably, 24.6 per cent of households with members who usually attend any learning institution were not using any method to continue with learning.
- Overall, there was a 51.7 per cent increase in the cost of transport on most frequent routes in Kenya.
What does it mean for children?
It means, children have to sadly bear with situation at hand as their parents struggle to provide for their needs.
With the data given above it is vital to highlight how it affects the well-being of the child amongst the household.
Children are at home on obvious reasons as well as parents who are supposed to provide for their necessities. I can’t imagine how hard life is for a child’s whose parent/s are self-employed workers or a jua kali, who works daily to fetch money for their daily bread and now things have slowed down if at all they are not going to work.
Imagine a household with a child who is abled differently from the rest. He/she is in need of care and support or perhaps even regular visits to the doctor. That, calls for transport money, food money and medicine cash.
We can’t allow our minds to drift off the economic pinch that comes with loss of jobs, closure of small businesses and waivered/ no salaries. Nothing goes on without having funds to at least put a meal on the table.
It is unfortunate how terrible, children have to endure skipping meals or going a day without anything watering their mouth glands or even them running around on empty stomachs.
As stated above it is hard to keep children hungry children under control. Most parents will let them fend for themselves and on a good day they will be able to at least put something in their mouths under the mercy of a Good Samaritan.
It is unfortunate that children have to undergo these disparities during these trial times when the world is struggling to fight an unseen enemy. While the Kenyan, government is also trying its best to at least provide food basket to vulnerable people in the society. Still the amount given is not enough for everyone in need.
The ability to access education is now only privileged to those who can access relevant resources to learn from several platforms available. Most of the children don’t have the capability of access education especially those from marginalized areas.
KNBS further states, ‘The rapidly evolving situations of COVID-19 demand for continuous change in ways of monitoring the economic situation of the country. This calls for constant review of measurement tools in order to capture the immediate concerns and issues that require urgent government response’
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