Coronavirus curbs hit Gikomba fish market

Commodities

Coronavirus curbs hit Gikomba fish market

The Gikomba Fish Market. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The popular fish market in Gikomba is reeling from the effects of the coronavirus as demand for the commodity dips in the wake of a dawn-to-dusk curfew and diminishing purchasing power.

Gikomba Fish Traders chairman Paul Oyimba says sellers get most of the customers in the evening but the curfew has disrupted this pattern when people rush to beat the 7pm deadline.

Mr Oyimba said the market has also witnessed low number of customers in what he attributes to difficult times occasioned by the outbreak of Covid-19 that has constrained buyers financially, hurting demand.

“The demand has gone down drastically, especially at the time when the curfew was imposed. We have also realised a lot of Kenyans are no longer buying fish for lack of money or prioritise the little they have for other needs,” said Mr Oyimba.

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He said the low demand has seen the price of fish remain a Sh370 a kilo even as the prices of other commodities have been going up since the outbreak ofthee disease, which is now a global pandemic.

“Ideally, the price of fish, just like that of other goods, is supposed to be up, but who will we sell to if we increase the cost and there is no demand?” he asked.

He said the supply of fish has not been impacted much as they still get stocks from Lake Victoria, given that the movement of food items has not been restricted under the current lockdown placed on Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties that were declared hotspots.

The low demand has also been occasioned by the closure of hotels and restaurants in the city as the government moves to curb the spread of the virus that has infected 234 people in the country by yesterday.

Gikomba market supplies fish to places as far as Central Kenya but at the moment traders from this part of the country have reduced movement under the efforts to contain its spread.

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