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End poverty by 2030? Forget it … UN says the fight will take longer

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Kenya is still millions of miles behind in its walk towards poverty reduction with the 2030 deadline way off target, says the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

The current rate of one person per minute escape from extreme poverty falls below the target rate by close to 30 per cent, leaving some 7.97 million Kenyans still struggling to make ends meet as at this month.

The extreme poor reduced by about 510,000 from a similar period last year, while about 2.7 million Kenyans are likely to be worse off by 2030.

Poverty elimination has been among the key commitments made by successive regimes since independence but remains a moving target with increasing population and economic headwinds complicating the issue.

Oil exporters
Only Zimbabwe, whose current escape rate is three people per minute against its target of 11.4 per cent, Mauritania — where the escape rate of 1.8 exceeds the target 1.4 — and Gambia, where the rate remains 1.7 against the targeted 1.8, are on track to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030.

The continent is, however, facing shocks, including the current Covid-19 pandemic, which is likely to hit economies hard.

ECA says the pandemic is disrupting global supply chains — drop in value creation, slowing down investments and has hit tourism with oil exporters’ revenue losses likely to hit $65 billion

Increased spending on health and further revenue loss is also likely to lead to unsustainable debt and reduce efforts towards poverty reduction.

Protect jobs

“As a safety net, these countries should provide incentives for importers to quickly purchase to ensure sufficient reserves in key basic foods and prepare fiscal stimulus packages (eg guaranteeing wages for those unable to work due to the crisis, favour consumption and investment and maintain infrastructure investments to protect jobs,” ECA said it is latest update on poverty reduction and effects of the coronavirus.

Poverty is still on the rise in South Africa, with more people sliding into the bracket of the extremely poor and the rate of reduction remaining negative five against the target of 141.4 people per minute.

Kenya conducted its second integrated household budget survey (hbs) in 2015/16 with those classifieds as under hard-core (extreme) poverty said to have declined significantly by more than half from 19.5 per cent in 2005/06 to 8.6 per cent in 2015/16 with about 84 per cent of the total hard-core poor found in rural areas.

Kenya defines the extreme poor as households and individuals whose monthly adult equivalent total consumption expenditure per person is less than Sh1,954 in rural and peri-urban areas and less than Sh2,551 in core-urban areas.

In figures
THOSE WHO MADE IT IN BIG 2019

About 510 million people cut themselves loose from extreme poverty last year with more than 2.7 million still expected to be struggling by the 2030 deadline.

Over eight million Kenyans are firmly in the shackles of extreme poverty, according to the latest figures.

BY Nation.

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Visually impaired man with gifted hands sets sights on ‘shoe empire’

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They say, disability is not inability. All over the world, there are millions of people who have overcome physical challenges to succeed in life.

Not far from the expansive tea plantations of Kericho, one man has inspired many due to his ability to overcome odds and make the best out of every situation.

Bernard Maina Kipkorir, who lost his eyesight due to meningitis in 2007, is a fighter working his way up the ladder. Perhaps, a millionaire in the making.

Kipkorir, 38, believes in hard work and instead of sitting for hours waiting for alms by the roadside, due to his challenges, he makes shoes and sandals from cow hides.

He’s so good at his job that, without his white cane, you wouldn’t notice his blindness.

Kipkorir’s woes began in February 2007 when he started developing migraines.

When he consulted a doctor at the Kericho District Hospital, all seemed well.

“My head felt as if it was being hammered,” he says.

But after more visits to the doctor, he got admitted to the Kericho Home Nursing Hospital where he spent five months in the intensive care unit, and another two undergoing physiotherapy. It was then that he started losing his eyesight.

“I couldn’t comprehend the goings on in my body, and I even lost the sense of time,”

Kipkorir says. Having lost vision in his left eye, he began adjusting to his new life. However, the condition recurred in October 2008 and he was admitted to the Kisii Level 6 Hospital, from where he was diagnosed with meningitis.

Kipkorir was then transferred to the Kenyatta National Hospital, where he also lost vision in his right eye while receiving treatment.

“After I was discharged, my doctor referred me to the social services and protection office for counselling and help. It’s then that I opted to go back to school to learn how to live again.”

With all resources at home depleted, the officers and his family held a fundraiser to raise his college fees. He finally enrolled at the Machakos Technical Institute for the Blind in 2010.

He studied braille and learnt about independent living skills as a blind person.

New shoe designs

In 2011, he joined the shoe making department and from that year up to 2017, he progressed from Grade III to Grade I.

Kipkorir has a national grade test certificate from the National Industrial Training Authority under the Ministry of Labour. While in college, his met his love, Jackline Langat.

They have two children, Joyline Cheptoo and Jayden Kipchirchir.

“I have many challenges,” Kipkorir says. “The main one is capital to expand my business.

I need Sh120,000 to stabilise.” He also plans to go back to college to learn “the new shoe designs. It will help me boost my sales”.

His wife, Jackline, treasures her husband. “My peers ridiculed me when I married him, but I don’t think my life would have been any different or better.

He is a blessing to us; he works hard and provides for us. We never lack,” she says.

By Nation.co.ke

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Coronavirus: Terry Mungai’s statement on Ashleys’ closure

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Ashleys Hair and Beauty Academy has shut down indefinitely in a bid to avoid further spread of the deadly coronavirus disease that has, as of Tuesday, March 31, seen 59 people test positive in Kenya.

In a statement issued by the Ashleys Kenya Limited founder and CEO Terry Mungai, the academy will remain closed until the pandemic is contained.

“To our friends and partners, you have walked this journey with us, over the last 24 years, as your number one spot for all your styling and grooming needs. You have cheered us on as we have scaled the heights and we, in turn, have consistently given you the cherished personal and professional services you can only find at Ashleys.

“It is thus, with the utmost difficulty that we have chosen to take the socially-responsible decision to temporarily close down all our branches in order to fully tackle the present challenge of the Corona Virus,” read part of the statement.

She further called for unity and highlighted Kenya’s steadfast spirit as she buttressed precautionary measures to tackle the disease.

“As a nation, we have been shaken before but we have always triumphed through the times of uncertainty. We are confident with God’s help and other this nations leadership, we shall emerge victorious once again. For now, stay safe, stay at home and keep us all in your thoughts and prayers as we shall too.”

Flair By Betty

By shutting down, Ashleys has joined a list of other beauty businesses that have had to close shop due to the pandemic with the most recent being Flair By Betty.

In a statement, the Flair By Betty CEO Betty Kyallo announced the closure of the parlour assuring that her customers and staffs safety came first.

“This special communication comes in the wake of the effects of the novel of coronavirus. It is indeed a difficult time for our beautiful country, continent and the world but we pray and hope for the best in the coming days.

“I believe the health and well being of our clients and staff is supreme and should be jealously guarded. With that in mind, we have decided to suspend operations as per government guidance until we get clearance that business can continue as usual,” read part of the statement.

AFROSIRI salon

Singer Wahu on her part, instead of a complete shutdown, resolved to make adjustments.

Announcing the changes in an Instagram post, the AFROSIRI CEO encouraged clients to get lasting hairstyles that will ensure they stay at home for, at least 3 weeks, before having to visit a salon again.

“For this season, we advice all our esteemed @afrosirisalon clients to wear a hairdo that will last at least 3 weeks (21 days), and to wear short neat nails. For the next couple of weeks, we are open on Wednesday- Saturday and shall serve clients on appointment, ensuring that no more than 5 clients are in the salon at any one time.

“We have also stepped up our sterilising procedures, and ensure all clients and staff alike practice regular hand hygiene (washing and sanitizing on entry/re-entry into the salon, washing and sanitizing of hands before the commencement of service and on completion of the same. We are also serving immune-boosting teas to all our clients. Service is by appointment only to ensure that we maintain the 5 client rule,” wrote Wahu.

By SDE

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How to overcome a season of crisis

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BY GEORGE WACHIURI

A wise man once said that there is a season for everything under the sun – even when we can’t see the sun. Seasons are part of life just like day and night or winter and summer. Seasons of crisis, for instance the current Covid-19 pandemic, come to necessitate change. Crises are not permanent but the question is: How do we overcome such a season of crisis? Here are 7 tips:

1. Seasons guarantee change: A crisis can build brand new markets, remove the old and welcome the new and change the way of doing things. The change could be new innovations, bigger businesses, change of cultures, believes or behaviour change.

2. Crisis gives hope for tomorrow: When it is too dark, light is soon on its way. When you are jobless, you hope for a job soon. When temporary out of cash, you hope for hay days.

3. Nothing remain the same: Seasons come and go. Corona hit China and now China is almost certainly back on track. Seasons are very temporary. For those currently earning a percentage of their salary or no salary at all in different organisations, this is a situation that will not remain the same.

4. A Season of crisis gives incentives to plan for the future: The crisis phase come and go and we must plan for the next phase. The future is more promising than the present.

5. A Crisis Season is Transient: The beauty about it is that days and weeks are moving. Soon, the crisis season will be over. We should not panic too quickly. We need to stand still, think and innovate.

6. Never respond permanently to a temporarily problem: Suicide, for example, is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. We can do better than committing suicide, giving up, or doing something that we might regret soon after the tough days are gone.

7. Keep a positive eye on opportunities brought by a crisis: See the opportunities created during a crisis and seize them if you can. Look at the bigger picture and position yourself approximately.

The author, is a leading Entrepreneur, a Published Author, Philanthropist, Youth Empowerment Enthusiast, a Family man and CEO of Optiven Group.

Contact Optiven Group: 0790 66 77 99 Email: diaspora@optiven.co.ke Website: www.optiven.co.ke George Wachiuri Blog: www.georgewachiuri.com
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/OptivenEnterprises/featured

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