Muslim faithful breaking fast outside Mackinon Market in Mombasa County. [Maarufu Mohamed, Standard]

As Muslims usher in the Holy Month of Ramadhan, hard economic times have cast a dark cloud on families in the country.

According to Nyeri Muslims Mosque Association Secretary for Women Affairs Asha Jama Hussein, Muslim families are finding it hard to cook food meant for breaking their fast; raising prices for cooking oil is specifically a huge problem.

“Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020, the normal Ramadhan routine has been drastically disrupted especially in relation to the ability for Muslims to feed their families, she said.

"During this period a decent meal had become an enormous struggle for many Kenyans.”

However, in a move to cushion impoverished Muslim families from the inability to feed their dependents, a group of Muslim professionals from Nyeri have formed a group that will donate food stuffs for more than 200 Muslim families in Nyeri County.

The group is led by a Senior Lecturer at the Technical University of Mombasa Suleiman Mzee Saidi.

“We will be providing a complete food ration package to each family for a whole month. We shall push this initiative beyond Ramadhan,” Dr Saidi said.

He said most residents may find themselves heavy in debted after Ramadhan and therefore appealed to other well-wishers to assist.

Muslim faithful praying in Mombasa's Tononoka Grounds in March 2023. [Ishaq Jumbe, Standard]

“During Ramadhan, most Muslim families invite guests from underprivileged backgrounds to break their fast, meaning a family may host up to 30 persons in one sitting daily," Saidi explained.

"This has an immense financial implication on the benefactors thus the need to partner with other individuals in making this year’s Ramadhan a success.”

Nyeri County is home to some 8,000 Muslims spread in several Muslim-dominated villages.

Unfortunately, they are economically ill-equipped with limited sources of livelihood coupled with the prevailing economic environment which has necessitated Muslim organizations to provide Iftar relief.

The last two years have proved especially hard for most residents with families abandoning some of the niceties’ meant to spice up the meals after fast.

Nonetheless, Muslims countrywide are determined to make the best of this year’s Holy Month of Ramadhan.

Many have appealed to the government to articulate ways of reducing food prices both in the short run and in the long term.

They also have appealed to Nyeri County Government to allocate a trading space for residents of Majengo slums as a way of improving the livelihood of residents.

“If young Muslim entrepreneurs can be allocated slots in prime trading areas within Nyeri CBD, it would really help,” Saidi said.