COVID-19

Two senior officials at Ardhi House test positive

WW: The continued spread of the Corona Virus is documented daily in Kenya's news media. In this article, the reliance on an anonymous source to expose the disease having infected individuals within a government ministry reveals how sensitivitely such information is treated. The same article...Read more

Covid-19 and Invisible Communities

This article was published by Tazama World Media, one among various emerging Kenyan-based digital publishers providing alternative sources of news. While mainstream media often focus on official/government authorities as central/primary sources of information in this COVID-19 era, alternative...Read more

Visualising COVID-19 in Kenya

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Background on COVID-19 in/from/about Kenya

The Research Data KE Working Group continues to collates news and public discourse that are of interest to thinking about the COVID19 epidemic in/from/about Kenya. We are particularly interested in archiving and tracking how media and other public channels are discussing the pandemic in order to identify relevant research resources and translate our individual experiences and data into collective knowledge that can support communities. We plan to use this information to better identify and collate existing qualitative/ethnographic research resources across diverse thematic areas relevant to thinking about and working on the COVID 19 global pandemic. We are collaborating on this project with the Transnational STS COVID-19 Project.

"Wear a Mask": COVID-19 prevention sign outside butchery in rural Kenya

This sign was posted on a glass window of a butchery in a Kenyan rural town (Nyeri). The butchery uses English to remind customers of accepted COVID-19 prevention protocols with the sign reminding the reader to wear a face mask. This message reflects an adoption and acceptance of disease prevention communication even in a rural context.

COVID-19 prevention sign outside butchery in rural Kenya

These posters were posted on the entry door of a butchery in rural Kenya (Nyeri). The top sign refers to anyone with COVID-19 as a 'suspect' who is unwelcome in the butchery. The bottom sign provides directions in graphical form for how to wash one's hands, just above a container with fresh water. It is set outside for customers to wash their hands before they enter the butchery. The hostility and caution reflected in the two signs reflect the multiple, sometimes contrasting views held towards the coronavirus pandemic. The signs indicate an acceptance and recognition of the pandemic's spread and reach, as well as a stigmatisation of those infected with the virus.

Private Schools Seeking Alternative Income Sources

AO: This image (by Reuters) was captioned with the following: "The owners of some private schools have turned to alternative sources of income such as raising chickens." Schools were shut in March 2020 as part of lockdown measures in Kenya. There has been a see-saw between opening or not opening public schools in 2020. Due to the closures, many private schools have struggled to survive without an income from pupil fees, which has led them to try to find alternative sources of income (e.g. chicken rearing).

COVID-19 Recommendations from the People of Mathare

WW: I first saw the image circulated on a Whatsapp group then found the source on a page off the Mathare Social Justice Centre website. I have found the communication around COVID-19 in Kenya has tended to be one-way, usually central government to the people. But this is a citizen-generated...Read more

AOk. COVID19 language politics.

AO: Wambui notes that the language used on the sign on the door of a butchery seems to indicate suspicion..."COVID-19 suspects" but I also wonder if the sign-maker might have twisted the usual...Read more

Attiah, K. (2020, September 22). Opinion | Africa has defied the covid-19 nightmare scenarios. We shouldn’t be surprised. Washington Post.

AO: This article (from September 2020) notes that despite a narrative that heavily circulated early in the global spread of the COVID pandemic that "vulnerable" and "high-risk" places, in Africa for example, were going to be devastated by COVID, it has not in fact played out that...Read more

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