The Kenyan Cooperative Sector Tackles Covid-19 Head-On

The Kenyan cooperative sector tackles COVID-19 head-on


Kenya reported its first case of COVID-19 on March 13, and the Ministry of Health so far has confirmed 1,109 positive cases and a total of 375 who have recovered so far as at 21st, May, 2020. The DG, Ministry of Health has also allayed fears that if mitigation efforts are not implemented and followed keenly, cases could skyrocket to as many as 200 cases per day by August this year.. The government acted quickly to close schools, entertainment joints cessation of movement from and to counties perceived as "High risk" and imposed a nationwide curfew, while also issuing guidance on hygiene and social distancing.

The cooperative sector also feels it has an important role to play in responding to COVID-19. The sector represents over 14 million members across 24,000 cooperatives and accounts for 35% of national savings; savings that key sector stakeholders say it is ready and willing to mobilize. Lifting up cooperative principles 5 (“Education, Training and Information”) and 7 (“Concern for the Community”), the State Department of Cooperatives created the Cooperative Corona virus Response Committee (CCRC), Chaired by the NACHU National Chairman, Eng.Francis Kamande, HSC to bolster government action combating COVID-19, while also ensuring a central place for cooperatives in Kenya’s post-pandemic reconstruction.

To co-ordinate this endeavor, the sector embraces WHO’s, ‘Whole-Of-Society Pandemic Readiness’ approach coordinated by the Co-operative Coronavirus Response Committee (CCRC). The standing committee will have the specific mandate to provide strategic and technical leadership in the sector to augment efforts by the government to curb this pandemic. Nature abhors vacuum, it does not punish nor reward but you have to pay for the consequences for action or inaction. The cooperative sector intends to reach out to 500,000 co-operative households directly affected by the by the pandemic through loss of income through provision of the survival kits. These survival kits would help the beneficiaries to be able to have basic foodstuff as well as face-masks and soap to protect them from the pandemic. Massaging will be regularly done through various media. Co-operative leaders, ministry personnel and managers will record massages that will be transmitted through various media to reach co-operators and the general public.  

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