‘Peter Olankai’, who keeps cattle, sheep and goats. In Kajiado County, Kenya, he has struggled to buy and sell his animals in closed markets due to the cornovirus epidemic and travel restrictions and curfews that have blocked his income.
“Our livelihood is reliant on livestock – we sell these animals to get money to buy food and other family needs, but now we can’t,” he said earlier this month.
Olankai, 46, lives in Kisamis village in remote Maasai territory where there is no road network and connecting with buyers is a challenge.
Now at home with his four teenage children, the family’s daily spending on food has gone up significantly.
In 2018 and 2019, their community was hit hard by drought but this year, they have had a lot of rain and the livestock are healthy and in good condition.
Olankai replenished his herd and hoped to fetch a decent price for his animals – but his plan has been ruined by market shutdowns aimed at stemming the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“Sometimes when I need money, I call one of the livestock buyers but it’s hard for them to come because of movement restrictions,” he said.
As COVID-19 cases in Kenya continued to rise, and community transmission became more common, the government tightened control measures, including further restrictions on movement in and out of Nairobi, for another 30 days until early July.
This has made business tough for James Mburu in the town of Kiserian, 27 km (17 miles) southwest of Nairobi, who buys goats from the Maasai community to sell in the capital. Find more…