Bar owners in Narok County want the government to give them an alternative means of earning income after all bars and clubs in the county were closed to avert possibility of a Covid-19 virus spread.
The bar owners who held a daylong meeting with officials from the county and national government at Ole Ntimama Stadium said they will suffer huge losses if their premises remained closed for 30 days as directed by the county leadership.
Ms. Martha Wamaitha, a bar owner said she had taken a loan from bank to boost her stock and closing her business premises meant paying huge fine to the bank as she has no other means of repaying the loan.
“We have loans, house rents to pay and our children were returned from school. I wonder what we will do to sustain ourselves since our only hope is in our business. I request we be given an allowance of up to 10. Pm to operate,” she said.
Mr. John Mburu, the main wine and spirit distributor in the town begged for the opening of his premises saying he had put sanitisers, enough water and soap in his premises to be used by his customers.
“I have employed three people who totally depend on this business for their livelihood. I wonder the next step to take if our premises are closed,” he said.
He continued some of his customers buy the liquor to consume in their homes during dinner adding shutting down the bars would interfere with their lifestyle.
Narok Chamber of Commerce Chairperson Mr. David Mpatiany asked the business community to be patient as the government put measures to fight the deadly disease saying life is better than money.
“We feel for the bar owners who will not open their premises for the next 30 days. But we understand that the disease is more dangerous and deadly and should be prevented by all means possible,” he said.
The chamber of commerce chair observed that the town had about 200 bars and closing the premises meant many people losing their jobs.
However, he called on the business men to look for alternative business like retail shops and farming that will keep them engaged instead of remaining idle.
Narok North Deputy County Commissioner Mr. Mutuku Mwenga said they will not consider opening the bars and clubs as they are a fertile ground of spreading the dangerous virus.
“We know that when people take beer and wine they become careless and can do anything as they are not sober enough. That is why we will not open any bar or night clubs until the disease is fully contained in the country,” said Mr. Mwenga.
In a press briefing this week, Narok Governor Samuel Tunai and County Commissioner Samuel Kimiti closed all bars, clubs and social gathering for 30 days to avert a possibility of Covid -19 spread in the county.
By Ann Salaton