Blogs

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Blogs
April 2020

Corona Case Studies: Should I stay, or should I go?

Considering urban to rural migration as urban incomes dwindle Collins, 75, once an ambitious, savvy businessman in Kariobangi, is now coasting through the end of his years.  “Things are not really improving, not really getting worse.  I’m an old man now.  I’m zero grazing.”  He no longer has the pressure of school fees to pay, […]

Blogs
April 2020

Shamba bora (fertile farmland), Shamba la mawe (rocky farmland)

Urban and rural areas are coping to the coronavirus disruptions in different ways About how long will the food you have for now last, we asked Susan, 52, last week.  The question alone made Susan tear up.  She is extremely stressed trying to figure out how she will manage to get through this difficult period.  […]

Blogs
April 2020

Dilemmas of distancing

Barriers to coronavirus prevention behaviour change in Kenya Like most governments around the world, the Kenyan government has been spreading messages about coronavirus prevention as far as they are able.  Top on their list of recommendations are to wash hands regularly in running water, to maintain a distance of two meters between yourself and anyone […]

Blogs
April 2020

Corona Case Studies: Mountains Beyond Mountains

Kenyan families are trying to cope with perpetual strain Ellen (35) thought that 2008 was the worst year of her life.  She woke up in the hospital, alone, after being badly beaten by her husband.  They were from different tribes as the country descended into violence after the disputed 2007 presidential elections.  She slowly recovered […]

Blogs
April 2020

The costs of coping with Coronavirus

Not only are Kenyans losing their incomes right now, they are also facing increased costs As social distancing pumps the brakes on Kenya’s economy, many families are seeing their incomes plummet as businesses close and send home workers, as projects using casual workers get put on hold, and demand drops for a wide range of […]

Blogs
April 2020

Corona Case Studies: “If I had food, I would close the shop”

Millicent and Amos [1], Eldoret, North Rift Kenya Millicent, 44, and Amos, 45, live in Eldoret with their 17-year-old daughter.  Amos has been working as a matatu driver and bus conductor for many years.  Millicent ran a small restaurant during the Diaries, but is now selling plastic wares from a small Mali Mali shop and […]

Blogs
April 2020

The ultimate stress test for financial resilience

How coronavirus adaptations are straining Kenyans’ most robust financial coping mechanisms “I wasn’t prepared for this virus,” Rachel told us over the phone.  Just two weeks after the first coronavirus (COVID-19) case was confirmed in Kenya and three days after a nationwide curfew from 7 pm to 5 am began, she and her husband, Paul, […]

Blogs
April 2020

When hustling fails: The impact of coronavirus mitigation efforts on ordinary people’s livelihoods

Unlike many Kenyans, Esther in rural Makueni is not yet too worried about the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on her livelihood.  A few years ago, her diabetic husband retired to the farm.  They now help each other raising local chickens and tending two dairy cows.  At home, his health has also improved.  For now, they […]

Blogs
April 2020

Corona Case Studies: Loss of Income, Loss of Pride

Stephen and Jessica [1] in Vihiga, Western Kenya Stephen and Jessica live in their rural home in Vihiga. Though they have a small plot for farming, it’s not enough to live on, and the two survive by doing casual work, selling vegetables, and getting some financial help from Stephen’s brother in Nairobi.  They were making […]

Blogs
March 2020

Weathering the COVID-19 storm: How will Kenyans cope?

The COVID-19 pandemic is testing the resilience of governments, health systems, large companies, small businesses and families worldwide. The challenge facing policymakers is unenviable. Given how contagious the SARS-CoV-2 virus is (on average every infected person infects 2 to 3 additional people, and each of those people 2 to 3 more, so that only ten […]