Nyanza residents list COVID-19 as most significant challenge in TIFA poll

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 27 – Nyanza residents see COVID-19 as the most significant local challenge, this is according to a survey conducted by Trends and Insights for Africa (TIFA) between June 24 and 28.

Eleven per cent of the respondents in Nyanza decried the COVID-19 challenge the level of concern being twice the national average of 5 per cent.

Out of the 1,550 respondents interviewed, 12 per cent represented Nyanza region while the rest were distributed in Rift Valley (25 per cent), Eastern(18 per cent), Central (11 per cent), Nairobi (11 per cent), Western(10 per cent), Coast (9 per cent) and North Eastern (4 per cent).

Respondents in Western scored the COVID-19 challenge at 7 per cent while those in Central and Rift Valley ranked the pandemic challenge at 5 per cent each.

The poll linked the heightened concern in Western and Nyanza regions to the recent spike in infections of the more aggressive Delta variant.

In mid June, thirteen counties mostly in Nyanza and Western regions, listed as COVID-19 hotspots were effectively placed under a revised 7pm to 4 am curfew in new measures to contain the virus.

At the time, the positivity rate in the aforementioned counties averaged 21 per cent against a national average of 9 per cent.

TIFA further noted that Eastern, Nairobi, and Coast residents were least concerned with the pandemic with a score of 4, 3, and 2 per cent respectively.

Generally, among respondents who noted that the country was headed in “the right direction” (12  per cent), a modest plurality (18 per cent) mentioned COVID-19.

“Evidently in recognition of government efforts to both contain its spread and treat those affected,” TIFA added.

“In regional terms, more residents of North Eastern give a positive assessment on this matter (24%) whereas the fewest residents of Central and Coast do so (10% and 6%, respectively,” the pollster added.

Coast region comprised the majority of respondents who held the opinion that the country was headed in the wrong direction at 77 per cent while North Eastern ranked lower at 65 percent.

The majority of respondents stated that they had suffered a substantial loss of income since the arrival of the pandemic with the survey noting that “such loss has affected poorer people disproportionally.”

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