ON 11th march 2020 Kenya reported its first coronavirus case. Two days after, we had the first official address from the head of state. He reported two more cases and followed it with a number of measures. He directed that all schools close and gatherings of any nature be suspended. Kenya was to observe the world health organization rules like washing or sanitizing hands, keeping social distance and if possible staying at home. It was a Friday. The next Sunday 15/3/20, we came to church trying to put the measures in place but that didn’t go down well with the government. The next Sunday 22/3/20 police were deployed in some places to forcefully keep people out of places of worship.
Over the past few weeks, many measures have been put in place. This includes a night curfew and the latest is the partial lockdown of the country. Areas suspected to be more affected have been locked off and there is no coming in or going out. This includes Nairobi city. Life in many parts of the country has come to a standstill. Many people managed to escape to villages before the lockdown. For the many who remained behind, there is nothing much to be done. Many poor who live from hand to mouth are left staring at death as businesses and companies closed. No work, no food, all children in the house, no going out to play and interact due to fear that is life threatening for many.
Early this week, we had a few causalities in Kibera slum, as people scrambled for food rations. A sign of how things are getting worse as less and less is available for people to eat. We here at Shauri Moyo have been sharing with the few who come the little we had in store. We also receive food items from those who visit such as packets of milk, oranges and sugar. In an interview on one local TV station from Kitale town, a man lamented how life has become difficult. He said he doesn’t wear a mask because it costs Ksh 200 ($ 2). He can’t afford it when he can’t even afford a kilo of sugar for his family which costs Ksh 110.
As per Easter Sunday Kenya had 191 confirmed cases, with 7 deaths and 24 recoveries. We still live in hope every day that things will get better. Otherwise another fear is hunger that is likely to lead to social unrest and an increase in crime. May God remember us and the whole world.
Fr. Francis Makuba mhm