BY DAVID ODONGO
As the city goes to sleep, Kazee, a trader at Transami, Embakasi hurriedly displays his wares. Though it is the stroke of midnight, his day has just began.
His wares include cigarettes and condoms, and as he revealed to The Nairobain, he cashes in big from condom sale, making up to Sh70,000 per month.
According to 2011/2012 survey by online site, salaryexplorer.com, the average salaries in Kenya for employees in the government, including teachers and other civil servants is Sh 69,000.
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“It’s about demand. People buy condoms everyday, and when the shops and the chemists are closed, I am their last resort, and they will pay Sh100 for what costs Sh20,” Kazee, a vendor in Embakasi, said.
He revealed he sells up to 30 packets of condoms daily, raking in a cool profit of Sh2,400, a vast compensation for braving the cold night. On weekends, the number rises to 60 or 70 in sales.
At a minimum of Sh2,400 per day, raised from selling condoms, Kazee, clearly ranks high above many professionals with university education who hold an eight to five job.
According to The Ministry of Health, with a population of more than 40 million, Kenya, uses an average of 20 million condoms every month.
The increased demand for condoms has seen a shortage and the price of condoms has spiked to up to Sh100.
According to a senior official from PSI, the Trust brand of condoms has seen an increase in demand that currently, the Salama brand of condoms destined for Tanzanian market almost rivals the Trust brand in sales.
“Kenyans can’t just get enough of Trust, we have had to divert some of the Salama brand to satisfy the gap in condom shortage,” says the official.
A spot check at Mama Lucy Hospital in Mukuru reveals that currently, the condom dispenser is empty, and it has been empty for weeks.
“Whenever we fill the dispenser, the condoms disappear in hours, men queue and get as much as they can,” says a nurse at the hospital.
At Tawa Lodge in Transami, Embakasi, rooms range from Sh400 to Sh800, but condoms sold at the reception cost Sh100 for regular condoms and Sh250 for the other brands.
Last year, East Africa Latex Manufacturers (EALM) was set to put up a Sh348 million plant in Thika to make 180 million male condoms per year.
Attempts to inquire about their project proved futile as a representative from the company said he was in a meeting and subsequent attempts to follow up on the matter did not bear fruit.