Save informal traders from ravages of virus

Mitumba

A man selling mitumba at Nairobi's Gikomba Market.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The disruption of business has had a significant negative impact on their livelihoods.
  • Reduced money supply, job losses and a crumbling economy have also crippled the businesses as non-basic items are no longer a priority.
  • The plight of those in the mitumba business mirrors the challenges of all informal traders.

On March 31, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) suspended importation of second-hand clothes and footwear (mitumba) in a bid to contain the spread of Covid-19. This saw many traders depleting their stock and risking closing their businesses. A few weeks ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the Trade and Health ministries to establish protocols to lift the suspension.

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