NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 18 – A survey by Trends For Insight Africa (TIFA) published on Sunday reported the proportion of residents with incomes had nearly doubled since April to stand at 64 percent in September.
Only 33 per cent of responders in Nairobi’s low-income neighborhoods reported having an income in April amid tough inter-county travel restrictions that negatively impacted on businesses.
The survey co-sponsored by the Canada High Commission in Kenya and the Hanns Seidel Foundation noted that the employed respondents include 32 per cent who are self-employed, 21 per cent in casual labor and seven percent who are fully employed.
Fifty-seven per cent of the respondents reported being employed in the new survey compared to the 41 per cent and 28 percent recorded during similar surveys conducted in April and June respectively.
Twenty-two percent of the unemployed respondents noted that they had lost their jobs since COVID-19 struck the country while seven per cent told the pollster they were either jobless or self employed.
The survey conducted between September 24 and October 2 further noted that the proportion of those who are jobless declined to 29 per cent compared to the 46 per cent in June.
“There has been marked decline since in the proportion of those who are jobless and have never worked, and an increase in those working part-time, whether in formal/wage or self-employment. The proportion of those in full-time wage employed has hardly changed, though that who are now jobless and have never worked has declined somewhat,” the survey noted.
Three percent of the 555 respondents reported earning as much as they did before COVID-19 while 14 per cent said they earned a bit worse compared to their previous earnings. Another two per cent reported better earnings.
Eighty percent of the respondents reported earning very little of what they were earning before the coronavirus pandemic while 85 per cent said that their personal lives had changed “a great deal” since March when Kenya reported its first COVID-19 case.
Among those who said their lives had changed, 47 per cent reported loss of employment, 42 per cent said they had reduced earnings from self employment while 23 per cent pointed out that their earnings from formal employment had reduced.
Sixteen per cent reported increased income while 13 per cent attributed their reduced income to inflation. Another five per cent decried the interruption of their children’s education.
The survey was conducted in Huruma, Kibera, Mathare, Korogocho, Mukuru kwa Njenga, Kawangware and other middle-income areas in Nairobi.