The Covid 19 pandemic has thrown the world into a disarray. Everything has changed from how we relate, communication, how we work and how we associate. It has also affected things as basic as going to the market, access to water, visits to neighbours, going to church and travelling. It has also brought forth discrimination and labelling. It has awoken mankind to working at home and utilisation of technology. It has brought untold suffering to families and quarantine to contain further spread. It has brought air travel literally to a standstill, with airlines counting losses and public transport almost grounding to a halt. It has closed up hotels and led to job losses.
Sadly, Covid 19 has also bred fertile grounds for injustice to prevail and vulnerable groups to be more affected. Take for instance families living in informal settlements. With privatisation of water, the cost of water is shouldered mostly by the poor. Research shows that poor households tend to pay more for water compared to more affluent ones, this is because they cannot afford for example to buy an entire tank but have to content with 20 litre jerry cans which end up costing more if one calculates monthly or even annually. Time and again we are told to prevent and contain Corona virus, wash your hands with water and soap, use of hand sanitisers is also promoted. But sad reality is that many informal settlements do not have access to running water and may not have sanitisers and face masks.
Security apparatus in many countries in Africa have become more brutal to citizens in the wake of Covid 19 take for example citizens being flogged for not adhering to laid down curfew hours. Citizenry are now nursing injuries thanks to police brutality meted on those who were unable to be at home by the stipulated time of 7pm in Kenya. Persons with disability have also not been spared, when the curfew time comes and you are not yet at home, woe unto you. Island dwellers who have to depend on ferry to get home have also not been spared and in some instances people not adhering to the laid down curfew rules have been put together collectively, which is contrary to the social distancing. Lives have also been lost for example a 13-year-old boy shot by police in Kiamaiko during curfew.As reported by AllAfrica.com, Rwanda was the first African country to order a total lockdown with citizens staying indoors. On public transport, the number of passengers in buses and Matatus has decreased to maintain social distance. This means the bus fares have gone up and these costs have to be borne by the ordinary citizenry who depend on public transport. Additionally, Kenyans coming from abroad, have had quarantine at their own costs.
Many Kenyans depend on daily wages to eke out a living and in a day each category of Kenyans makes their peak sales. For fish mongers for example, who in Kenya are mainly women, customers come for fish mainly in the evenings. Curfew times thus means that they cannot sell their fish and either remain at home, stop selling their fish and this has implications for household purchasing power.
With the lock downs and curfews, many poor people are more concerned with how they will bring food on the table given the restrictive movements and times. Petty traders have to close up early, areas that are lucky enough have had markets fumigated. In some cases, markets have been closed off as a measure of containing the virus. Petty traders are lamenting that they spend more money to buy water and soap for their customers. Additionally, panic buying has been recorded with sanitisers, tissue papers, grains disappearing from supermarket shelves. With the lock down and curfews it means the survivors will only be those who can afford to buy more food and stock their houses.
Although Covid 19 has altered the world at a drastic pace, it should not be used as an opportunity for violating rights of people more so vulnerable groups.
 A minibus used as a form of public transport