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Lifting of curfew a relief to vegetable vendors and passengers in Turkana

Lifting of curfew a relief to vegetable vendors and passengers in Turkana


Friday, April 5, 2024

KNA by Ngasike Ezekiel and Peter Gitonga

Plans by the government to lift the ongoing curfew in parts of Turkana County have been welcomed by residents among them vegetable vendors.

Turkana County Commissioner Julius Kavita on Thursday said the government would soon review the curfew in Turkana south sub county.

He said Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof Kithure Kindiki would degazette the curfew but urged locals to be peace-abiding.

The government imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in parts of Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, Laikipia, Samburu, Turkana, and West Pokot counties in response to prevailing elevated levels of banditry.

Traders and passengers welcomed the move saying it would reduce their travel time and ensure their goods reach their destinations earlier.

The curfew imposed in Turkana South between Lokichar and Kainuk had led to delays and increased costs for transportation of goods and passengers.

Passengers were forced to spend nights at either town if they failed to have crossed the borders by six pm.

Grace Akinyi, a vegetable vendor, welcomed the new move saying it was a reprieve to her business.

“We are happy as traders to hear that the government will lift the curfew. Some of our vegetables have become spoilt on the roads leading to losses,’ she said.

In the meantime, the prices of daily consumer goods have reduced in Turkana in the months of March and April this year.

A spot check by KNA revealed that general prices of commonly used foodstuffs like maize, sugar and cooking oil have reduced at both wholesale and retail markets.

The price of a 50-kilogramme bag of maize reduced from Sh2,100 to Sh1,700 which is a 19.04% drop in the months of March and April as compared to February.

In retail, two kilogrammes of maize now costs Sh130 in most of the shops around Lodwar.

According to Maximilla Lokoubwa, a retailer and fresh produce trader in Lodwar town, most foodstuffs commodities have dropped in price.

Maize and by extension flour is the staple food for most locals. “I do record more sales in a day from maize because this is a staple food that people prefer in my shop. I think this softens the living conditions of my customers,” she said.

Adengo Pius, a resident and retailer at Kodopa shop, echoed Lokoubwa’s sentiments.

A 50-kilogramme bag of sugar also reduced from Sh8,600 to sh5,800 which records a percentage of 32.55 drop in price.

Between January and February one kilogramme of sugar was sold at Sh180 but it now costs Sh120 in most of the shops in Lodwar.

Additionally, the price of cooking oil which used to be Sh4,600 in the month of February, has reduced to sh4,300 in the months of March and April signifying a drop of 6.5%.

According to James Elaar, a retailer at Nakwamekwi, the prices of cooking oil dropped by a smaller percentage but there is relief in prices of this commodity as from the beginning of this year. He noted a slight decline in prices every month.

“There are changes in prices of cooking oil especially from the wholesalers. Since January, as a retailer I have experienced changes in prices of cooking oil. The prices are generally reducing though by a small margin,” he said.

Courtesy; KNA

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