Only clear strategy can end Covid-19 pandemic pain

Thursday, May 21st, 2020 12:00 |

A report released on Tuesday by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics on the impact of Covid-19 on households gave a glimpse into the anguish and agony of majority of Kenyans, especially the worker.

The overarching theme in the report is uncertainty—on the future, jobs, health and food security amid a turbulent socio-economic and political times.

Indeed, the cruel virus that plunged humanity into a spin puts the country in an unprecedented situation; the suddenness of the pandemic with no known cure, shutdown of businesses and activities, restricted movements, curfew and a whole new lifestyle. 

In a nutshell, we all left groping in darkness for answers and tools to confront the invisible enemy.

According to the report, more than 91 per cent of employees who have been forced off work by government measures to curb spread of Covid-19, are unsure of when they will return to work; a third of the tenants could not pay their April rent; and learning has been suspended and limited access to healthcare for non-Corona patients.

  As many grapple with the unprecedented challenges, the focus should not only be on mitigating the devastation of the virus, but on the post-Covid-19 recovery.

It will, therefore, be critical for the government to roll out targeted programmes in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, small and medium scale enterprises by leveraging the novelty of the innovativeness by Kenyans, especially the youth to spur the economy.

This will need a single-minded and disciplined approach by team from all sectors and industry captain appointed by the President with a specific mandate to steer and oversee the recovery process from the current triple challenges of locusts invasion, flooding menace and Covid-19 that have exposed our soft underbelly in terms of planning and response mechanisms.

 It is a time for all three arms of government—Executive, Judiciary and Legislature— to eschew retrogressive bureaucratic rivalry and work in harmony.

And unless we purpose to relive spirit of Harambee and hard work as espoused by our founding fathers, all the beautifully crafted blueprints and pledges on economic recovery and socio-political re-engineering will count for nothing. While at it, we should avoid falling into the trap of toxic politics.

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