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GDP shrinks by 0.3 per cent

The Kenyan GDP contracted by 0.3 per cent in 2020. This was attributed to the economic fallout that was precipitated by the Covid-19 pandemic.


Amb Ukur Yatani, CS National Treasury speaks during the launch of FY 2022/23 Medium Term Budget preparation process on August 5. Photo/FILE

Before Covid-19 hit, the GDP was steadily rising. In 2016, it was growing by 4.2 per cent. In 2018, it was at its peak at 5.6 per cent. This dropped a little to 5 per cent in 2019 and now in 2020, it sunk to -0.3 per cent. This is according to information from Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

The announcement of contracting the GDP comes a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta declared drought a national disaster. He had met 85 leaders from Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs). 

In a press release sent to newsrooms, Statehouse spokesperson Kanze Dena Mararo revealed that the President had instructed the National Treasury and Ministry of Interior to help in the distribution of relief food and water to the affected counties.

Among the worst affected sectors of the economy are tourism and transport and storage.  Millions of Kenyans lost their jobs too during the period under review.

Those areas where growth occurred in the economy where the agriculture, finance and construction. The Construction sector grew by 11.8 per cent compared to 5.6 per cent last financial year.

However, does the growth in economy reflect on the pockets of ordinary Kenyans? There have been marked shortage of rains in two consecutive rain seasons, plunging many Kenyans to drought and reduced incomes.

In its weather outlook for October-November-December rains, the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) forecasted less than adequate rains. “The distribution of the rainfall in time and space is expected to be generally poor over most areas especially during the month of October and the peak month of November”, says KMD.

In August this year, three students fainted at Kalima Mundu primary school in Kyuso sub county due to hunger. Area chief John Muthengi said that some families were surviving with one meal a day or none in extremely difficult times.

After food appeal from Kyuso education director Stephen Mulandi, the pupils got food aid worth Sh65,000 from well-wishers.

Last month, a local NGO took relief food to drought-stricken parts of Mwingi North. Residents of Mitamisyi village in Ngomeni ward got food donations from Vision Together Foundation.

Makueni, Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties are among the risk severe regions according to a National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) report while Kitui and North Eastern  region counties are in the drought alert category.


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