Kenya is suffering more financial and emotional stress from the COVID-19 pandemic than other African nations, according to a survey by GeoPoll that found the country reporting the most widespread income cuts and distress of any of six African nations polled in November.
The survey in Kenya, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, DRC, Mozambique and South Africa found 43 percent of 3,000 respondents reporting their emotional wellbeing had deteriorated during 2020. But a full three quarters of respondents in Nairobi said their emotional health was worse than last year, with most citing a surge in financial pressure as the main cause.
For, while incomes have fallen nearly everywhere, both between March and June and by more still since June, more people have been affected by severe cuts in earnings in Kenya than in the other nations. Around 52 percent of the respondents across all six nations reported a large drop in earnings since June, but 64 percent of respondents in Kenya suffered the same.
“South Africa had a lockdown early in the pandemic, but measures there have since eased, and the other nations polled have had fewer long-lasting restrictions. Only Kenya has had extensive restrictive measures throughout, remaining under curfew, for now, eight months, and delivering economic cuts that have caused a parallel deterioration in respondents’ emotional wellbeing,” said Roxana Elliott, VP of Marketing for GeoPoll.
This has led to a far greater degree of disruption to normal routines. Across all six countries, 50 percent of respondents reported their routines had been changed a lot by the pandemic, but, in Kenya, 66 percent of respondents reported considerable changes to routines, with only 6 percent saying their routines had not changed at all.
Kenyans are also more gloomy, as an election year approaches, about the amount of time it will take before they start to see any improvement in their financial situation, with 56 percent expecting it to take over six months, and 35 percent over a year.