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Bees are at the centre of a plan to rescue Kenya’s water towers.

Legend has it that the first honey ever exported out of Kenya came from Samburu County.

It is said this maiden package was destined for the royal residence — the Buckingham Palace in the United Kingdom – apparently a gift from Kenya to the Queen of England.

Today, the government hopes that this legend retold at a community sitting in Maralal, Samburu County, last month, will leave a mark in the minds of community members, and spur them into action to help the desperate bid by the Kenya Water Towers Agency (KWTA) to salvage the Lerroghi Dryland Water Tower—a critical water catchment and biodiversity hotspot.

The government wants the community to shift their efforts from felling trees and encroaching on forests, to using the woodlands in ventures that will translate to conservation.

Bees are at the centre of this plan to rescue the Ewaso Nyiro catchment area, with the local community urged to take up the more nature-friendly bee-keeping in place of practices such as overstocking of livestock, harvesting forest products for traditional medicine, and logging and burning of charcoal, that have put excessive pressure on the Kirisia Forest and mountain ranges.

Already, according to Adamson Lanyasunya, the MCA for Loosuk Ward and county chair for agriculture and livestock, up to 30 per cent of the Kirisia Forest has been lost to encroachers who are advancing farther into the forest, which covers more than 92,000 hectares.

“There is real worry about the shrinking forest, as people continue to hive off portions for settlement.

“This compounds an already bad situation of livestock which degrade the forest by overgrazing,” he said, adding that further north, the Ndoto Mountains and Matthews Ranges and the rivers that flow from them are also under threat.

“The streams that come from the mountains to drain into Ngare Narok River dry up quickly now.

“If people continue wanton destruction of the forests, then we should expect retribution from nature,” he added.

Last November, Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko attributed water shortage to deforestation, encroachment, and degradation of water catchment areas and riparian land.

He extended a ban on logging in all public and community forests, initially imposed in February, for another year to facilitate reforms and restore and rehabilitate critical water catchment and natural forest areas currently estimated at 123,553 acres. Charcoal burning was also banned for the same reason.

The Ministry of Environment estimates that 76,603 acres of forest have been depleted, and it plans to have this area replanted with indigenous tree species. The ministry says it needs Sh18 billion to handle challenges of deforestation in the next five years.

“The tree species in this particular water catchment area are famed for their medicinal value, probably of invaluable measure, and we should try as much as possible as country to protect them from being burnt for charcoal,” says KWTA board chairman Isaac Kalua.

“Because of this, the forest has got some of the best pollen in the country, which makes very good honey … so why not tap into that?” he poses

According to his counterpart KWTA Acting Director General, Julius Tanui, 24 per cent of all indigenous trees in the country come from this particular water tower.

According to assessments by the agency, the total net value of the water tower is Sh54 billion.

But John Lelesit the chairperson of one of the bee-keeping groups recruited by the government, admits that the government is yet to get through to a majority of the residents in its community livelihood improvement project, as the charcoal burning inside the forest secretly goes on.

“People were burning charcoal because they lacked an alternative, yet they need to survive. Today we’re no longer seeing the many fires that had become routine in Kirisia Forest. They have reduced because people are now wary of destruction of the bee habitats in the forest,” adds the elderly Mr Lelesit.

Slowly, residents who own apiaries are now becoming guardians of the forests, against a remnant of charcoal burners.

Mr Lelesit says that more education and public awareness is required to ensure that all the residents in the county living near the forests get on board.

KWTA says that it will take more than just evictions to reverse the damage and conserve the tower.

The agency supported training on modern bee-keeping techniques for locals living in the water tower and provided equipment to upscale the capacity of the honey refining unit.

In Ng’are, on the fringes of Kirisia Forest, a little after 10am, the sun is still a muted flaxen-yellow, its shafts of light piercing through patches of cloud and tree branches onto the row of hives underneath, in Lilian Letiwa’s compound.

“Here bees are aplenty. Inside the forest you find lots of balls of nests the bees have constructed on trees, other times you find them in shrubs.

“Last week because the flowers on the grass in my compound were flowering there were so many bees, that they established a nest in my cupboard,” explains Ms Letiwa amidst the furious buzzing of the bees that have escaped the crowding in the 10 hives on the compound to forage on the flowers atop long blades of Boma Rhodes grass bushes nearby.

In total, Ms Letiwa’s 23-member group has 40 Langstroth hives received from the KWTA at a subsidised price of Sh1,000 — an amount that is also payable in honey.

Previously the people of Samburu used locally-made grass basket hives or log hives or simply went into the forest and harvested there.

MITIGATE IMPACT OF DEGRADATION

Now with the beekeeping and honey processing initiative, the government hopes to mitigate the potential impacts of deforestation and biodiversity degradation in the region.

Groups like Ms Letiwa’s living near the forests have received more 15,400 modern beehives over the last three years, from the county and national government.

Now the government is encouraging them to join a cooperative – the Samburu Beekeepers Cooperative Society – as it seeks to organise the trade. A section of farmers supplied the refinery with more than 1,000 killogrammes of honey for processing last season.

“The plan is to surmount the challenges by providing alternative livelihood solutions to enable sustainable restoration and conservation of the water tower,” says KWTA Acting Director General Julius Tanui, noting that the initiative intends to change the harmful customary and relatively new practices that have caused damage in the last decade.

“If we don’t give these people alternatives they’ll certainly encroach on natural resources. We hope that the water tower will be conserved and we are encouraging farmers to consider even more nature-friendly alternatives like collecting and packaging seeds of the rare indigenous tree species from the forest for sale in partnership with the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI),” added Mr Kalua, the board chairman of the water tower agency.

He called on the county government to empower residents to start making the hives, to keep the jobs within the community.

At the community meeting with the KWTA, where the Buckingham Palace story was recited, Mr Kalua launched modern honey refinery equipment for the honey collection centre in Maralal town, to upscale the capacity of the processing unit. The agency also supported training on modern beekeeping techniques.

The county government estimates that the beekeepers could earn up to Sh170 million from honey annually, at current capacity.

“The next phase will be to help the community market their honey and once they start making good money, most of them will be convinced to join the venture,” says KWTA’s boss Mr Tanui, “And when the community sees value, then our message will be home and more will want to participate in deterring destruction of the forest.”

There are other benefits too, according to Ms Letiwa. Crop farming has also profited from the beekeeping venture, as the bees help in pollinating crops – especially maize which is a recent staple on the farms.

“Bee-keeping is something we have done since time immemorial. We’ve used it as medicine and as food … but we did not know that it could add value to our lives economically and help protect the environment,” says Willim Lelechep the chairman of the Samburu Beekeepers Cooperative Society.

Mr Lelechep explains that they have also come to understand how important climate is to their harvest, and how conserving the forest is linked to all this.

“When the rains are good, we harvest three times a year. But with poor rains, we can only harvest twice or even once a year,”he says. “We are faced with the challenge of rain which doesn’t come with the regularity it did previously. “On years like those the bees disappear. That is bad for business.” He adds that when the rains are good, the cooperative is able to process up to three or four tonnes of honey per season, but only one tonne in dry seasons.

Want to save bees from extinction? Vaccinate them

Scientists in Finland have developed a vaccine to protect bees against disease, raising hopes for tackling the drastic decline in insect numbers which could cause a global food crisis.

Bees are vital for growing the world’s food as they help fertilise three out of four crops around the globe, by transferring pollen from male to female flowers. But in recent years bee populations around the world have been dying off from “colony collapse disorder”, a mysterious scourge blamed on mites, pesticides, virus, fungi, or a combination of these factors.

UN-led research in 2016 found that more than 40 per cent of invertebrate pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, are facing extinction. The study also found that 16.5 per cent of vertebrate pollinators, such as birds and bats, are under threat. Scientists warn that the die-off will result in higher food prices and the risk of shortages.

The vaccine works by giving bees resistance to fight off severe microbial diseases that can be fatal for pollinator communities. Vaccinating insects was previously thought to be impossible because the creatures lack antibodies, one of the key mechanisms humans and other animals use to fight disease.

But a breakthrough came in 2014 when lead researcher Dalial Freitak, a specialist in insects and immunology, noticed that moths who are fed certain bacteria can in fact pass on immunity to their offspring.

Freitak met with Heli Salmela, who was working on honey bees and a protein called vitellogenin, and she thought that it must be the protein that takes the signal from one generation of bees to another.

The pair collaborated to create a vaccine against American foulbrood, the most globally widespread and destructive bee bacterial disease. The treatment is administered to the queen bee via a sugar lump, similar to the way many children are given polio vaccines. The queen then passes the immunity to her offspring, spreading it through the bee community.

“If we can save even a small part of the bee population with this invention, I think we have done our good deed and saved the world a little bit,” said Freitak. “Even a two-to-three per cent increase in the bee population would be humongous.”

Diseases are believed to be just one of a number of reasons for the loss of pollinators, alongside pesticides and intensive farming, which reduces the diversity of insects’ nutrition. But the team believes that protecting bee populations against disease will make them stronger, and therefore better able to withstand the other threats. The crowding in the 10 hives on the compound to forage on the flowers atop long blades of Boma Rhodes grass bushes nearby.

In total, Ms Letiwa’s 23-member group has 40 Langstroth hives received from the KWTA at a subsidised price of Sh1,000 — an amount that is also payable in honey.

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Previously the people of Samburu used locally-made grass basket hives or log hives or simply went into the forest and harvested there.

MITIGATE IMPACT OF DEGRADATION

Now with the beekeeping and honey processing initiative, the government hopes to mitigate the potential impacts of deforestation and biodiversity degradation in the region.

Groups like Ms Letiwa’s living near the forests have received more 15,400 modern beehives over the last three years, from the county and national government.

Now the government is encouraging them to join a cooperative – the Samburu Beekeepers Cooperative Society – as it seeks to organise the trade. A section of farmers supplied the refinery with more than 1,000 killogrammes of honey for processing last season.

“The plan is to surmount the challenges by providing alternative livelihood solutions to enable sustainable restoration and conservation of the water tower,” says KWTA Acting Director General Julius Tanui, noting that the initiative intends to change the harmful customary and relatively new practices that have caused damage in the last decade.

“If we don’t give these people alternatives they’ll certainly encroach on natural resources. We hope that the water tower will be conserved and we are encouraging farmers to consider even more nature-friendly alternatives like collecting and packaging seeds of the rare indigenous tree species from the forest for sale in partnership with the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI),” added Mr Kalua, the board chairman of the water tower agency.

He called on the county government to empower residents to start making the hives, to keep the jobs within the community.

At the community meeting with the KWTA, where the Buckingham Palace story was recited, Mr Kalua launched modern honey refinery equipment for the honey collection centre in Maralal town, to upscale the capacity of the processing unit. The agency also supported training on modern beekeeping techniques.

The county government estimates that the beekeepers could earn up to Sh170 million from honey annually, at current capacity.

“The next phase will be to help the community market their honey and once they start making good money, most of them will be convinced to join the venture,” says KWTA’s boss Mr Tanui, “And when the community sees value, then our message will be home and more will want to participate in deterring destruction of the forest.”

There are other benefits too, according to Ms Letiwa. Crop farming has also profited from the beekeeping venture, as the bees help in pollinating crops – especially maize which is a recent staple on the farms.

“Bee-keeping is something we have done since time immemorial. We’ve used it as medicine and as food … but we did not know that it could add value to our lives economically and help protect the environment,” says Willim Lelechep the chairman of the Samburu Beekeepers Cooperative Society.

Mr Lelechep explains that they have also come to understand how important climate is to their harvest, and how conserving the forest is linked to all this.

“When the rains are good, we harvest three times a year. But with poor rains, we can only harvest twice or even once a year,”he says. “We are faced with the challenge of rain which doesn’t come with the regularity it did previously. “On years like those the bees disappear. That is bad for business.” He adds that when the rains are good, the cooperative is able to process up to three or four tonnes of honey per season, but only one tonne in dry seasons.

Want to save bees from extinction? Vaccinate them

Scientists in Finland have developed a vaccine to protect bees against disease, raising hopes for tackling the drastic decline in insect numbers which could cause a global food crisis.

Bees are vital for growing the world’s food as they help fertilise three out of four crops around the globe, by transferring pollen from male to female flowers. But in recent years bee populations around the world have been dying off from “colony collapse disorder”, a mysterious scourge blamed on mites, pesticides, virus, fungi, or a combination of these factors.

UN-led research in 2016 found that more than 40 per cent of invertebrate pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, are facing extinction. The study also found that 16.5 per cent of vertebrate pollinators, such as birds and bats, are under threat. Scientists warn that the die-off will result in higher food prices and the risk of shortages.

The vaccine works by giving bees resistance to fight off severe microbial diseases that can be fatal for pollinator communities. Vaccinating insects was previously thought to be impossible because the creatures lack antibodies, one of the key mechanisms humans and other animals use to fight disease.

But a breakthrough came in 2014 when lead researcher Dalial Freitak, a specialist in insects and immunology, noticed that moths who are fed certain bacteria can in fact pass on immunity to their offspring.

Freitak met with Heli Salmela, who was working on honey bees and a protein called vitellogenin, and she thought that it must be the protein that takes the signal from one generation of bees to another.

The pair collaborated to create a vaccine against American foulbrood, the most globally widespread and destructive bee bacterial disease. The treatment is administered to the queen bee via a sugar lump, similar to the way many children are given polio vaccines. The queen then passes the immunity to her offspring, spreading it through the bee community.

“If we can save even a small part of the bee population with this invention, I think we have done our good deed and saved the world a little bit,” said Freitak. “Even a two-to-three per cent increase in the bee population would be humongous.”

Diseases are believed to be just one of a number of reasons for the loss of pollinators, alongside pesticides and intensive farming, which reduces the diversity of insects’ nutrition. But the team believes that protecting bee populations against disease will make them stronger, and therefore better able to withstand the other threats. The crowding in the 10 hives on the compound to forage on the flowers atop long blades of Boma Rhodes grass bushes nearby.

In total, Ms Letiwa’s 23-member group has 40 Langstroth hives received from the KWTA at a subsidised price of Sh1,000 — an amount that is also payable in honey.

Previously the people of Samburu used locally-made grass basket hives or log hives or simply went into the forest and harvested there.

MITIGATE IMPACT OF DEGRADATION

Now with the beekeeping and honey processing initiative, the government hopes to mitigate the potential impacts of deforestation and biodiversity degradation in the region.

Groups like Ms Letiwa’s living near the forests have received more 15,400 modern beehives over the last three years, from the county and national government.

Now the government is encouraging them to join a cooperative – the Samburu Beekeepers Cooperative Society – as it seeks to organise the trade. A section of farmers supplied the refinery with more than 1,000 killogrammes of honey for processing last season.

“The plan is to surmount the challenges by providing alternative livelihood solutions to enable sustainable restoration and conservation of the water tower,” says KWTA Acting Director General Julius Tanui, noting that the initiative intends to change the harmful customary and relatively new practices that have caused damage in the last decade.

“If we don’t give these people alternatives they’ll certainly encroach on natural resources. We hope that the water tower will be conserved and we are encouraging farmers to consider even more nature-friendly alternatives like collecting and packaging seeds of the rare indigenous tree species from the forest for sale in partnership with the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI),” added Mr Kalua, the board chairman of the water tower agency.

He called on the county government to empower residents to start making the hives, to keep the jobs within the community.

At the community meeting with the KWTA, where the Buckingham Palace story was recited, Mr Kalua launched modern honey refinery equipment for the honey collection centre in Maralal town, to upscale the capacity of the processing unit. The agency also supported training on modern beekeeping techniques.

The county government estimates that the beekeepers could earn up to Sh170 million from honey annually, at current capacity.

“The next phase will be to help the community market their honey and once they start making good money, most of them will be convinced to join the venture,” says KWTA’s boss Mr Tanui, “And when the community sees value, then our message will be home and more will want to participate in deterring destruction of the forest.”

There are other benefits too, according to Ms Letiwa. Crop farming has also profited from the beekeeping venture, as the bees help in pollinating crops – especially maize which is a recent staple on the farms.

“Bee-keeping is something we have done since time immemorial. We’ve used it as medicine and as food … but we did not know that it could add value to our lives economically and help protect the environment,” says Willim Lelechep the chairman of the Samburu Beekeepers Cooperative Society.

Mr Lelechep explains that they have also come to understand how important climate is to their harvest, and how conserving the forest is linked to all this.

“When the rains are good, we harvest three times a year. But with poor rains, we can only harvest twice or even once a year,”he says. “We are faced with the challenge of rain which doesn’t come with the regularity it did previously. “On years like those the bees disappear. That is bad for business.” He adds that when the rains are good, the cooperative is able to process up to three or four tonnes of honey per season, but only one tonne in dry seasons.

Want to save bees from extinction? Vaccinate them

Scientists in Finland have developed a vaccine to protect bees against disease, raising hopes for tackling the drastic decline in insect numbers which could cause a global food crisis.

Bees are vital for growing the world’s food as they help fertilise three out of four crops around the globe, by transferring pollen from male to female flowers. But in recent years bee populations around the world have been dying off from “colony collapse disorder”, a mysterious scourge blamed on mites, pesticides, virus, fungi, or a combination of these factors.

UN-led research in 2016 found that more than 40 per cent of invertebrate pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, are facing extinction. The study also found that 16.5 per cent of vertebrate pollinators, such as birds and bats, are under threat. Scientists warn that the die-off will result in higher food prices and the risk of shortages.

The vaccine works by giving bees resistance to fight off severe microbial diseases that can be fatal for pollinator communities. Vaccinating insects was previously thought to be impossible because the creatures lack antibodies, one of the key mechanisms humans and other animals use to fight disease.

But a breakthrough came in 2014 when lead researcher Dalial Freitak, a specialist in insects and immunology, noticed that moths who are fed certain bacteria can in fact pass on immunity to their offspring.

Freitak met with Heli Salmela, who was working on honey bees and a protein called vitellogenin, and she thought that it must be the protein that takes the signal from one generation of bees to another.

The pair collaborated to create a vaccine against American foulbrood, the most globally widespread and destructive bee bacterial disease. The treatment is administered to the queen bee via a sugar lump, similar to the way many children are given polio vaccines. The queen then passes the immunity to her offspring, spreading it through the bee community.

“If we can save even a small part of the bee population with this invention, I think we have done our good deed and saved the world a little bit,” said Freitak. “Even a two-to-three per cent increase in the bee population would be humongous.”

Diseases are believed to be just one of a number of reasons for the loss of pollinators, alongside pesticides and intensive farming, which reduces the diversity of insects’ nutrition. But the team believes that protecting bee populations against disease will make them stronger, and therefore better able to withstand the other threats. Th

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Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard

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Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.

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However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

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Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard

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President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

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Drastic life changes affecting mental health

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Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.

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Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

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