Nine out of ten Kenyans say that they will be worse off financially if Covid-19 continues

Nine out of ten citizens say that they will be worse off financially if the virus continues to spread, even as the country continues to feel the economic impacts of the pandemic on livelihoods.

Those with higher education are slightly less likely 84 percent to say things will be worse for them, indicating the strong desire for everyone for the pandemic to end.

According to the study by Twaweza East Africa, citizens say the worst affected sectors are education (67 percent), the informal sector (jua kali – 60 percent) and the health sector (51 percent).

Citizens also mention tourism and hospitality (32 percent) and public transport (29 percent).

Kenyans suggest that the government could provide grants or funds to businesses (62 percent), create employment opportunities (54 percent) or provide loans to young people to start or grow businesses (45 percent).

Tax relief for businesses (32 percent) and provision of Covid-19 protective equipment (sanitizer, masks, fumigation – 22 percent) are also popular recommendations by Kenyans.

On a positive note, Kenyans seem to have more money with more households, than in June, reporting their money would last a week (34 percent compared to 27 percent) or a month (23 percent compared to 18 percent).

These findings were released by Twaweza in two research briefs titled Learning to live with Corona? Kenyan citizens’ knowledge, attitudes and practices based on data from Sauti za Wananchi, Africa’s first nationally representative high-frequency mobile phone survey.

Beyond their general economic outlook, households are now twice as likely to say the food they have at home will only last a day compared to June 2020 (60 percent compared to 31 percent).

Despite the alarming apparent decrease in household foods stocks, more households now say their food would last for one month or more (20 percent compared to 11 percent in June).

Those in Mombasa (31 percent), those with no education (32 percent) and those who earn a living from casual work (32 percent) are more likely to say they have no food at home.

The panel for this research was established through random sampling from a database of contacts from previous surveys to establish a new representative panel of the country’s population. For this brief, data were collected from 3,000 respondents in the third round of the special Sauti za Wananchi panel, conducted between 18 November and 2 December 2020.

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