Kenya: New Survey Shows Low-Income Earners Unable to Feed Their Children During COVID-19

Nairobi — A new survey shows that 61 percent of low-income earners in Nairobi County are facing difficulties in feeding their children who have been at home since March, when schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The research by Trends and Insights Africa (TIFA) further indicates that 39 percent of the respondents are afraid that they will not be able to help their children concentrate or continue with learning while at home.

With the 2020 academic year having been declared lost by the Ministry of Education, another 29 percent of the respondents say they may not be able to control their children from social interactions in what exposes them to high chances of contracting the virus.

"Among the challenges that those with children now at home are facing, feeding them is clearly the greatest, more so for women (who usually shoulder that responsibility). But other problems such as the failure to have them continue with their studies and keeping them safe from the virus is also frequently mentioned," the report released on Wednesday states.

The research was conducted between July 6 and 7, targeting 579 respondents in Kibera, Huruma, Mathare, Korogocho and Mukuru Kwa Njenga areas of Nairobi.

Schools in Kenya will not re-open until 2021 due to fears of COVID-19 infections which has started taking toll in the country.

By July 8, Kenya had recorded 8,528 positive cases with 169 fatalities.

The Ministry of Health has warned of tough times ahead, with the peak period projected from August through to December.

Education Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha on Tuesday said it will not be practical and safe to re-open schools until 2021 because the peak period for the virus infections is just starting.

He said the 2020 academic year is lost, meaning all learners will be required to repeat their current classes when schools re-open next year. He did not provide the exact dates.

Consequently, he said, national examinations for primary and secondary schools will not be done this year.

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