July 13, 2020

Tourism Stakeholders Want Gov’t to Abolish Curfew

Former Lamu Tourism Association (LTA) Chairman, Alwy Image: Zubeir Athman

By ZUBEIR ATHMAN

Email: thecoastnewspaper@gmail.com

Trade and Tourism stakeholders are urging President Uhuru Kenyatta to consider lifting the Covid-19 dusk-to-dawn curfew in Lamu County.
The nationwide 7pm to 5am curfew was imposed since March 26 this year as a measure to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in the country.
The stakeholders, led by former Lamu Tourism Association (LTA) Chairman, Ghalib Alwy said the curfew has completely drained the industry.
Alwy noted that there is need for the curfew to be lifted, particularly in a region like Lamu where no single case of Covid-19 has been reported since the first case of the dreadful Coronavirus was announced in the country on March 13 this year.
He lamented that the curfew has resulted to a collapse of many businesses and the tourism sector in general.
The chairman aid believes once the curfew is lifted, many businesses will successfully be revived.
“We have seen many counties recording cases of Covid-19 but not in Lamu. It’s unfortunate that the same restrictions imposed in the affected counties are also applied to Lamu.”
Ali Bundez, an investor in the area also pleaded with the state to consider lifting the cessation of movement for Mombasa and Kilifi counties since Lamu is directly dependent on the two counties for survival.
Bundez however called for the establishment of Covid-19 testing centres along the Lamu-Mombasa road to ensure those coming from Mombasa and Kilifi to Lamu are effectively screened and tested.
“Almost all the commodities used in Lamu are ferried from Mombasa and Kilifi. Trade can not survive here without relying on the two counties.”

Business in Lamu County. Image: (Courtesy)

“Most of our labourers here come from Kilifi and Mombasa. We therefore plead with the government to lift the movement restriction but improve Covid-19 screening and testing for those coming to Lamu or going outside,” said Mr Bundez.
Zena Abdallah, who is also an investor in Lamu stressed that the relaxation of some of the Covid-19 rules will generally help to boost the economy not only in Lamu but across the country.
Abdallah lamented that apart from the curfew other imposed Coronavirus regulations had negatively impacted almost all sectors in the country.
“We plead with President Kenyatta to adjust some of the Covid-19 regulations to enable us cope with the tough economic times,” said she.
The stakeholders’ sentiments come at a time when the Coronavirus infections in the country have plummeted to 1,745 with 62 deaths recorded so far. 

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