Connect with us

News

Virus fears fuel mad rush back to the villages

Published

on

Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

It was a few minutes to 2pm. Nairobi was boiling hot.

At the country bus station, popularly known as ‘Machakos Airport’, Ms Esnah Bosire sat with her three children on their suitcases, sacks and other luggage, covering her head with a leso (shawl), while her children used their jackets to protect themselves from the scorching sun.

The family was among dozens of others awaiting buses to Kisii. There were also several lone travellers.

Many of them had waited for more than four hours with no signs of a bus.

Nearby, buses bound for Kitale, Webuye, Bungoma, Busia and other towns in Western were full to capacity as conductors and their handymen lifted heavy beds, sofa sets and huge sacks onto roof racks.

The city’s biggest and busiest bus station was hustling and bustling in apocalyptic frenzy, with hundreds of travellers milling around revving vehicles spewing diesel fumes and handcart pushers having a busy day ferrying people and their stuff to and from buses.

Scenes such as these are characteristic of the travel fervour that grips city residents during the holiday season, and it is only March… so, what gives?

READ ALSO:   Stop dancing with death

Window of opportunity

“I’m going with my children back to our village home in Kisii. We don’t want to catch the rapidly spreading coronavirus. We will stay there until things normalise and schools are reopened,” Ms Bosire said.

The housewife, said she saw a window of opportunity to travel after the government closed all schools, although her husband, who is the breadwinner, has to remain behind.

In an Eldoret-bound bus, a middle-aged man sat pensively as he waited for it to fill up. He was alone.

The bus would pass through Bungoma and Kitale on its way to the North

Rift town.

“I’m going to prepare my homestead in the village. Business has been affected and so we have decided to relocate.

I’m going to make everything ready so that by next week, they can join me,” he said.

“This disease is serious and there is no way I can allow it to find me or any of my family members in Nairobi.

That is why I’ve made this decision,” he added.

On a row of seats behind the man sat Ms Janet Achieng’ with her brother and two children.

She had decided to take the children to her mother in the village before she returns to the city to continue with her work.

READ ALSO:   JKIA mix-up: Passengers left unattended for hours

“I requested two days off from work to take my children home. I can protect myself against the coronavirus, but I won’t take chances with my children.

“It’s better I take them to their grandmother,” she said.

Further up the dusty streets leading to ‘Machakos airport’ at the North Rift Shuttle terminus on Mfangano Lane, right in the heart of the city, close to 200 passengers waited anxiously to be driven to Eldoret and Kitale.

However, the vehicles were scarce, travellers many, and the waiting long.

Picture of desperation

Faces drenched in sweat and contorted in anxiety painted a grim picture of desperation.

“I booked a ticket at 9am and I’ve been waiting to board the vehicle to Eldoret since.

“I still haven’t known what time I’m going to board the vehicle because the queue is still long and there are no vehicles,” said another anxious

traveller.

The student from the Kenya Institute of Professional Studies was travelling back home after the college closed.

She said she had never, in all her frequent travels west and back to Nairobi, seen such long lines and a determined struggle to catch rides.

The operators said the crisis had persisted for the last three days.

“Because of the many customers we have been receiving, the fare has increased. People are travelling in large numbers due to fear of the coronavirus. They are desperate,” said Mr Samuel Maina, a bus company clerk.

READ ALSO:   Shock as 32 escape quarantine

‘No longer coming

He said buses are filling up quickly, but not half as fast in returning to the city as the lines are building.

A bus operator pointed out that another reason for the delay was that while there were many people westward bound, there were much fewer coming to Nairobi.

Vehicles were spending a lot of time upcountry waiting for citybound travellers.

“Most of our frequent travellers to Nairobi are traders who come to buy goods to stock their shops.

“The Covid-19 outbreak has affected them and they are no longer coming,” the bus operator said.

7 Number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 infections in Kenya

This disease is serious and there is no way I can allow it to find me or any of my family members in Nairobi”

Western-bound traveller in an Eldoret bus

By Nation


Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

Top athlete turns to jiko-making to beat pandemic

Published

on

Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

They say a man must do what a man must do.

This idiom has become a reality to Dominic Samson Ndigiti, the reigning Africa U20 10,000 metres walk race champion and former World U17 10,000 metres walk race bronze medalist during the Covid-19 times.

Ndigiti, who has won Kenya a gold medal at the Africa Under-20 Championships held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, has been crisscrossing the country, doing what he now loves to do most: Making affordable, energy-saving jikos – charcoal cooking stoves.

Coronavirus pandemic

Though the walking race champion learnt the skills of making this particular kind of jiko in 2018 when in Finland where he had gone for a competition, he did not put them to use until when coronavirus hit the world, putting a break on most sporting activities.

“I saw the whites making the jikos in 2018 when we had gone to Finland for Under20 competitions. It took a week for me to learn. But I started being serious when coronavirus hit us. The jikos now earn me a living,” he said.

The 20-year-old says the modern jikos use charcoal or firewood.

The jikos are of different sizes and can fit in any kind of house be it permanent, temporary or semi-permanent.

“I do not discriminate for which house to make my jikos. Charges vary according to sizes. A one-stoned jiko goes for Sh3,000, two 4,500, three 6,000 and four and above goes for Sh10,000,” said Ndigiti.

He says that materials needed include cement, clay bricks, fireproof and red-oxide paint.

Different work

Ndigiti says many people see him as a successful person owing to his record in the walking race, but the tough times have forced him to work differently.

“I am grateful because Kenyans have responded very well to my venture. I have visited many counties in the past few months, making jikos. Before coronavirus, I did not know my home county of Kisii well, though I have was born and brought up here, but making jikos has made me a tourist,” he said.

Ndigiti, who hails from Marani sub-county in Kisii County, schooled at Kiandega High School in Nyamira county and developed a passion for the walking race while in Standard Six.

He says he was inspired by his teachers.

The IAAF World U18 Championships is an international event bringing together athletes from all over the world who are 17 or younger.

“Coronavirus brought a lot of problems in the world and we couldn’t go out to compete. I hope this will end soon. But this pandemic has made me learn the hard way. Talents are to be exploited, no matter how much little income they bring,” said Ndigiti.

He is hopeful that after the pandemic, he will represent Kenya in the Olympics and will bring home a gold medal.

Ndigiti comes from a humble family and his success in the walking race has not taken away his humility.

Ruth Mbula | Nation Media Group

“We live life easy. Living well with people has taught me a lot during this coronavirus time. The requests to make more jikos is overwhelming,” he said, adding that Elgeyo Marakwet Woman Rep Jane Kiptoo has already asked for his help in making more than 100 jikos for women groups.

He says most of his clients are women. “They have embraced my idea of making our kitchens look better.”


Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Continue Reading

Lifestyle

Man who died inside city matatu did not succumb to Covid-19

Published

on

Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

The man who died in a matatu along Mombasa road on Tuesday was not killed by Covid-19 as it was initially feared, the Nation has learnt.

Tests on samples taken from the man, who has been identified as Leonard Odhiambo, 57, turned negative for coronavirus.

City Mortuary deputy funeral superintendent Patrick Mbugua, however, said a post-mortem had not been done to determine the cause of death.

“The man was brought to the mortuary and the Covid-19 test came back negative. We suspect he died of blood pressure issues owing to the sudden manner of his death. However, we are still waiting for the post-mortem results. It was not Covid-19,” Mr Mbugua said on Thursday.

On Tuesday at around 7.30am, the matatu had left the ambassador bus stop in the city centre and was picking passengers along the way on its route to Embakasi.

Before 8am, Mr Odhiambo boarded the Embassava Sacco 14-seater matatu popularly known as Manchester at the South B bus stop as he was headed to Embakasi.

He sat on a seat at the row behind the driver’s cabin next to the passenger door. The row has three seats, but owing to Covid-19 regulations, it only had two passengers.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Coronavirus cases jump to 25

Slightly past Panari Hotel, at an area called Lab, the passenger seated next to Mr Odhiambo wanted to alight. As usual, the passenger next to the door is expected to alight to pave way for the other passengers to get off.

Mr Odhiambo did not move. Thinking he was asleep, the conductor tapped his shoulder. Nothing happened. With a strong nudge, the man is said to have heaved, coughed out aloud and slumped on his seat. It is suspected he breathed his last at this point.

His family went to the morgue on Wednesday evening but did not pick their departed one as they still await the post-mortem results.

by Nation.africa


Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Continue Reading

Lifestyle

Was soldier’s macabre murder premeditated?

Published

on

Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  

The gruesome murder of Lazarus Mwangi, 25, a junior soldier, seems to have been well- planned and executed.

Mwangi’s body was mutilated, eyes gouged, all limbs and hands broken. His body was found dumped at Masinga Dam in Machakos on November 22.

On November 14, Mwangi left his residence at Kahawa Barracks in Kiambu county after informing his seniors he was going to pick a parcel he had been sent from Mariakani Barracks in Kilifi.

That was the last time he was seen alive.

Mwangi had been initially posted to Mariakani Barracks in 2016 before his mysterious transfer to Kahawa Barracks in December 2019.

His transfer had, however, raised eyebrows because it is rare for a junior soldier of his rank to be transferred within that time frame.

Yesterday, a senior army official told People Daily that transfers rarely happen, especially with young and inexperienced soldiers.

“If a young soldier has been transferred, such a move can only be considered when he has specialised on a specific field and his expertise are required elsewhere. That is when a transfer can occur,” the officer who sought anonymity said. The deceased is said to have informed his wife, Ms Doris Muhoro, that he had gone to pick a parcel. On the fateful night, Muhoro tried several times to reach her husband but the calls went unanswered. She fell asleep.

READ ALSO:   Coronavirus: Govt reveals 3 more suspected cases, 14 quarantined

However, during the night, Muhoro’s phone was called eight times by a private number at around 3am but she never answered because she was dead asleep and could not hear it ringing.

In Dagoretti, Nairobi the same night at 3am, Ms Jackline Wangeci, Mwangi’s sister, also received a call from a private number.

The caller who said that he was calling from Gilgil in Nakuru informed her that her brother had been kidnapped.

Same day
On November 15, Mwangi’s family shared what had transpired that night and efforts to trace him started the same day.

The deceased kin reported the matter at Kikuyu Police Station where both Ms Muhoro and Ms Wangeci recorded statements on what had transpired since the disappearance of Mwangi.

A detective privy to the investigations, and who spoke to People Daily on condition of anonymity said Mwangi’s phone Global Positioning System (GPS) history was traced to Muthurwa in Nairobi.

The detective further said that already, a woman had been arrested in connection with Mwangi’s death after sleuths attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations traced the people who called him on the day he disappeared.

“The people who called his sister saying they were calling from Gilgil were traced to Kamukunji. Already some arrests have been made,” the sleuth said.

READ ALSO:   Coronavirus cases remain at 31 as curfew starts tonight

Detectives have also obtained a series of chats between his brother based in South Sudan and an investigating officer. “They killed him after kidnapping him. We believe it was a bait. There was nothing like a parcel he was supposed to pick,” the brother said.

Masinga Police boss Francis Siror confirmed that residents recovered a badly mutilated body and informed them.

Consequently, the police informed the family who picked and transferred it to Thika Teaching and Referral Hospital Mortuary.

An autopsy conducted yesterday established that Mwangi was strangled to death.

by PD.co.ke


Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
Continue Reading

Special Offer: Own one starting at Ksh 3.7M


poapay3

Like us on Facebook, stay informed

NEWS TRENDING RIGHT NOW

2020 Calendar

satellite-communication1.jpg

Trending