Kenya: Flower Workers Receive Sh8 Million on Coronavirus Aid

Nairobi — At least 7,500flowers workers in Kenya are set to receive Sh8 million in form of food packages and mobile money transfers in order to survive from the coronavirus shocks.

The aid by civil society groups and under Hivos East Africa and the Kenya Flower Council (KFC) is a move aimed at cushioning the staffers who are facing reduced income owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite a rebound in the sector on increased exports following reduced restrictions, majority of the workers remained unemployed at home.

Majority of the staffers were in April and May sent home on paid and unpaid with seasonal workers fired.

Hivos East Africa reveals that many of them have been struggling to put up a meal on the table.

"We have been implementing projects with the flower farms under our Women at Work programme which advocates for good working conditions for workers in horticulture. It is only prudent for us to extend some support to the workers in this extraordinary period," said Hivos East Africa's Regional Director, Mendi Njonjo.

Data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) revealed that horticulture exports declined by 14.2 percent reflecting on dips witnessed in April.

"Since then, flower exports have recovered, reflecting increasing demand from key export markets with easing of restrictions and containment measures, and increased cargo space volumes between July 1 and 19 2020 were 80 percent of volumes in July 2019," noted the bank in a statement last month.

The flower industry is also one of the largest employers in Kenya where the sector employs over 200,000 workers directly in farms.

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