Tourism workers to get Sh4,000 Covid-19 relief cash every month

Kenya Coast Tourist Association chair Victor Shitakha, right, and CEO Julius Owino after signing an MoU with Mombasa County. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Thousands of employees in the tourism sector within the Coast are set to enjoy cash transfers to cushion them against the effects of Covid-19 pandemic.

Kenya Coast Tourism Association (KCTA) yesterday said at least 39,000 workers will get an accumulative Sh600 million in a three-month cash transfer deal.

Some of those set to benefit in the deal signed between KCTA and Give Directly, an international non-governmental organisation, are those who have lost jobs.

The two organisations launched the Covid-19 relief support fund that is set to give hope for the tourism industry employees and self-employed persons affected by the pandemic.

In the hotel sector, those targeted are workers who lost employment or are on pay-cuts following dwindling tourism revenues.

KCTA chief executive officer Julius Owino said yesterday each of the 39,000 person will get Sh4,000 cash transfer every month for a period of three months.

He explained that the programme targets those who lost jobs, those on pay cuts as well as the self-employed like beach operators, acrobats and disco jockeys who earned from the tourism industry.

“At first we thought of buying items like soap for the tourism industry workers but we realised the needs vary and settled for cash transfer. We will be sending the cash in the next two to three weeks and this will be done every month for three months,” Owino said.

He called on the six county governments of Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River, Taita Taveta and Lamu targeted by the relief programme to treat hotel workers as frontline employees and push for their urgent vaccination for Covid-19.

“It is the vaccination of the tourism industry workers that will enable us open up the industry. If we vaccinate our people we create confidence in the tourism destination,” he said.

Yesterday, KCTA chairman, Victor Shitakha said most hotels in the south and north Coast were operating at 40 to 50 per cent capacity. 


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