The last two years have been difficult for many in the tourism sector. As a result of Covid 19, many individuals ,who had previously depended on the industry to put food on the table, faced uncertainty.
Due to a lack of guests and the stringent measures put in place to curb the spread of Covid 19, many tourism facilities had to let go of staff or put them on pay cuts.
Therefore, it was great news when GiveDirectly approached the Laikipia Tourism Association to partner in emergency cash program as part of their Covid-19 response in Kenya.
GiveDirectly is a leading global NGO specialized in delivering digital cash transfers. The organization helps families living in poverty by making unconditional cash transfers via mobile phones.
This organization felt they could quickly and safely implement a cash relief program to support the vulnerable in the Laikipia tourism industry who lost jobs or had reduced income due to the Pandemic. In addition, cash payments would go a long way in complementing the ongoing health interventions.
They also felt that the cash relief program would, in the long run, help to stimulate the broader economy beyond the recipients.
The Laikipia Tourism Association provided a database of up to 350 individuals from different tourism facilities in the greater Laikipia landscape to benefit from the program. As a result, the beneficiaries would receive 12,000 disbursed over 3-4 months.
Some of the individuals we enrolled in the program have already confirmed receiving the first of the KES 4,000/= installments.
This program only reiterated the need to have a strong membership Association. The data collection and cash distribution is only possible through an active association within the landscape.
The LTA will continue to explore all other avenues to assist those in the sector. With the government lifting the curfew and more vaccine doses arriving in the country, we remain optimistic that tourism in our landscape and the country will bounce back and continue the upward trajectory, Delta and Omicron variants, notwithstanding.