Over 100 widows living at Olaimutia near the Maasai Mara Game Reserve have benefited from food and sanitary donation worth Sh 100, 000 from the Narok Peace Association.
The donations included maize flour, sugar, cooking fat, bar soaps, salt and vegetables that were given to the widows who mainly depended on tourism to earn an income.
Narok Peace Association Director Joshua Ole Kaputa said since the onset of Covid-19 last year, the widows who depended on foreigners to sell their beadwork have been greatly affected.
“We are touched by the way the widows have to struggle to feed their families. This area being a wildlife zone, it is impossible to do crop farming hence they only depend on their sizable livestock for survival,” said Ole Kaputa.
He said the food was a donation from various well-wishers including business persons and prominent farmers in the area who helped in raising funds to feed the less fortunate persons.
“I am glad that today we have been able to feed about 100 widows. Though this is not enough to sustain them for a long time, I am sure it will put a smile in their homes for a few days,” he said, calling on other well-wishers to join in and help in distributing food to the less fortunate persons in the society.
Pastor Stephen Ole Muntet of Shiners Assembly who hosted the widows in the church compound lauded the Peace Association for the noble idea of distributing foodstuff to the neediest persons in the society.
He said Covid-19 had severely affected the economy of the area that mainly depends on tourists who flock the game reserve yearly.
“For years, the people of this region have depended on tourists who buy our products at a very high price. However, since the onset of Covid-19, the foreign tourists have decreased and the level of income in this area has been affected,” he said.
The widows who benefited from the food could not hide their joy as many shed tears of joy thanking God for remembering them.
Ms Julia Sairowua said life has been hard since the travel advisories were issued by many countries in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19 virus.
“A simple beadwork goes for Sh.3, 000 to a foreigner, but to the domestic tourist, the same bead cost less than Sh 300,” she said.
Narok County government mainly depends on tourism where they collect up to Sh 2.7 billion from the game reserve yearly.
Governor Samuel Tunai in a media briefing recently said the county lost 95 per cent of its earnings last year because of the Covid-19 containment measures set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
By Ann Salaton