NAIROBI AFTER LOCKDOWN.
I sat in traffic today. This is the norm for most of us who use public transport in Nairobi. It was invigorating to watch as Nairobians went about there day to day. The intercounty lockdown having been lifted the previous day, Kenyans went back to their day today. Life continues as normal.
The driver swerved and our matatu jerked ahead, the traffic police had just opened our lane and most drivers were scampering, heading to town. We were all eager to get to town. It has been 5 months since the lockdown had been effected and the previous day it had been lifted. Kenyans came out of their houses in droves ready to dust up and get back on the groove. Most of us had been cooped up in our houses for the entire period and this was a chance to let go. It was a chance to open up and get businesses moving. The inter-county lockdown had its perks, but for now, it was time to move on.
We got to another set of traffic lights which in our case in Nairobi are a couple of Traffic Police who control the traffic and our lane was closed. This gave me time to soak in the environment around me. Nairobi had changed. In just a few days after the inter-county lockdown was lifted, the city had undergone a 360 businesses were making a comeback, Matatus and buses have already congested the CBD, a positive move on the economy. Hawkers on the side of the road were vending different goods, from sunglasses to groundnuts there was something for everyone. We cruised into town, the usual hullabaloo that is met in town. A wrong turn here, a few insults there it was just another day in town.
The open-air markets like Gikomba have continued with the day to day activities. This is despite the fires that ravaged the market a few weeks back. At the moment the traders are still facing The exchange of commodities and grocery markets like Marikiti have enforced measures to curb the virus. One is required to wash their hands or sanitize before getting into the market. A move that is highly regarded as tap water and soap is provided at the entrance of the market. Cab drivers and matatu drivers have also ensured their safety, by providing sanitizers to the customers. In a cab, one is required to sit at the back where a film separating the driver and the passengers has been put up as a measure against COVID-19.
At the moment, Kenyans seem to have seamlessly gotten back on the groove. The lockdown might have had a number on us but the resilience is still being seen from different sectors which is something commendable. We all hope that at some point we will all get used to the new normal and move on despite the challenges 2020 has brought to us.