More than 500 pastors have received food, sanitizers and soap from the County government of Nakuru to shield them from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Governor Lee Kinyanjui said on Tuesday that the donations were meant to ensure the clergymen, who have felt the heat of the pandemic since the closure of all places of worship in mid-March, were sheltered from the impact.
The Chairman of Nakuru Pastors Fellowship, Alex Maina said the clergymen drawn from all the 11 Sub-Counties had received 18,000 kilograms of maize flour, 2,000 litres of cooking oil, 9,000 kilograms of dry beans and 4,000 pieces of bar soap.
“I reached out to the governor and explained the predicament our members were experiencing and we obtained the relief food,” he said.
Maina said that since the government imposed various containment measures to combat Covid-19, including a ban on all gatherings, churches’ coffers have dried rendering religious workers vulnerable.
Reverend David Ng’ang’a said the Covid-19 pandemic has been a tough time for church workers.
He said it had been difficult for religious leaders to make ends meet because tithes and offerings had dwindled to the lowest levels ever.
Pastor Gladys Munge noted that a church operates like any other organization that is heavily dependent on people, adding that the containment measures had kept away congregants who are the backbone of all religious organizations.
But the Inter-Religious Council chaired by Nyeri Catholic Archbishop, Anthony Muheria has recommended that places of worship re-open from yesterday, July 14 with strict adherence to spelt out guidelines.
Among guidelines issued by the council include rethinking of church collections, which usually involves passing offertory containers around the church to each congregant.
Archbishop Muheria pleaded with faithful to attend the re-opened centres in an orderly manner and comply with regulations.
“We understand the great eagerness and longing we have but with some patience and preparation, we can safely re-unite in our places of worship,” he said.
Faith leaders are now charged with ensuring that Covid-19 health guidelines are followed through Covid-19 response teams to be formed in each congregation.
By Anne Mwale