NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 2 – Each business within the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) lost at least Sh48,304 every time there was anti-IEBC protests which took place in May and June.
According to a study by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) in partnership with TIFA research, businesses which experienced higher revenue losses were from banking and finance sector that lost an average of Sh166,727 per day.
Presenting the report, TIFA Director Maggie Ireri noted that a lot of businesses made losses as most of them were not prepared for the demonstrations or never expected they would be chaotic.
“The Nairobi City demonstrations have left a financial toll on the business community. For every day there was a demonstration, businesses registered reduced sales as they remained closed or experienced a reduction in the number of customers,” she said.
A newspaper vendor reported a daily loss of Sh10,000, boda-boda rider Sh5,000, and hawkers Sh3,000.
In addition the highest loss recorded by a bank was Sh900,000, a restaurant in the CBD Sh150,000 and forex bureaus, Sh60,000.
“The study found out that losses were experienced by nearly every business in the CBD,” Ireri added.
According to the study, 85 percent of business said they were directly affected by the demonstrations in terms of losing revenue, through low number of customers, closing of businesses, looting and destruction.
“The study also found out that 68 percent lost revenue due to closure. The employees missed work due to inaccessibility and there was destruction of property and looting,” Ireri explained.
Despite the challenge, Ireri says more than half of the business in the CBD are not taking measures to mitigate their businesses from losses occasioned by the demonstrations.
Eight seven percent are also not planning to move from the CBD with hopes that the challenge will be addressed.
“The proportion of micro business that take no action is higher than the small, medium and large enterprises. The micro business are more likely to feel the brunt of protests as compared to large business as they have lower coping mechanisms,” she said.
Commenting on the study, KEPSA Chief Executive Officer Carole Kariuki noted that whereas it was the right for anyone to picket as per the constitution, it was important that law and order is maintained and avoid chaos.
“There are short term effects and long-term impacts of city protests and the latter have a larger impact on the economy. Business regardless of size are adversely affected by the protests,” she said.
The study was done among 509 businesses last month.