Along with the huge number of people displaced in Kenya (300,000), the estimated figure of 400,000 people losing their jobs this month as an immediate knock on effect from the post election crisis is very worrying. Whilst in the developed world there is a support system for the unemployed (i.e. in UK there is the welfare system and job seekers allowance etc.) here there is absolutely nothing.
For many, going out to work simply translates into earning just enough to live, pay the rent, buy food, pay school fees. With no income you cannot eat and with more people out of work, we all fear an increase in crime as people are driven to desperate measures. Let’s hope that the tourists come back soon and that factories can get up and running again at full productivity and the roads are made safe again without delay. Let’s hope that to counter the economic downturn; the government create many more jobs in the wake of the crisis by using their newly announced fund for those affected by the violence to rebuild the areas that have been destroyed.
Kofi Annan is still hanging on here in Nairobi and predicts that a deal could be struck between government and the opposition party by the end of next week. Annan really does deserve a medal (or ten), for what he has done here. A Kenyan friend of mine said that she would personally like to take him on an amazing safari to show him the best that the country has to offer by way of a thank you. However, I’m sure he’s counting the days until he can get the first plane out of here.
As the days pass, it becomes increasingly clear that both the Government and ODM, the opposition, have been guilty of some pretty underhand behaviour and neither party can poke their heads above the parapet too far as no one above blame. I hope it’s now time to put all the horror behind them and move forward to create a better, fairer way to run Kenya for everybody.