Flower workers receive Ksh.8 million COVID-19 aid


Flower workers receive Ksh.8 million COVID-19 aid
Kenya Flower Council’s CEO Clement Tulezi (Centre) and Membership Manager Edith Moroti (Left) receiving a donation of 5,000 pieces’ dry food ration packs from Henry Wera HIVOS Regional Project Officer (Right). PHOTO | COURTESY

In Summary

  • Hundreds of permanent workers were sent home on paid and unpaid leave during the month of March and April, while seasonal workers have been rendered jobless.
  • In spite of a rebound to flower exports/horticulture, with markets reopening in key destination markets, many of the workers remained unemployed at home.
  • The flower sub-sector is projected to employ over 200,000 workers directly on farms across the country.

Flower workers are set to benefit from aid worth Ksh.8 million in the form of food packages and mobile money transfers.

The aid by civil society groups and under Hivos East Africa and the Kenya Flower Council (KFC) is set to benefit a total of 7,500 workers.

The assistance is seen as cushioning arising from the disruption of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hundreds of permanent workers were sent home on paid and unpaid leave during the month of March and April, while seasonal workers have been rendered jobless.

In spite of a rebound to flower exports/horticulture, with markets reopening in key destination markets, many of the workers remained unemployed at home.

According to a study by Hivos East Africa, the majority of workers had been struggling to put food on the table.

“We have been implementing projects with the flower farms under our Women at Work programme – which advocates for good working conditions for workers in horticulture. It is only prudent for us to extend some support to the workers in this extraordinary period,” said Hivos East Africa’s Regional Director, Mendi Njonjo.

The flower sector now foresees a bounce back as restrictions and other containment measures continue to be eased.

According to data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), horticulture exports declined by 14.2 percent reflecting on dips witnessed in April.

“Since then, flower exports have recovered, reflecting increasing demand from key export markets with easing of restrictions and containment measures, and increased cargo space—volumes between July 1 and 19 2020 were 80 percent of volumes in July 2019,” noted the bank in a statement last month.

The flower industry is also one of the largest employers in the Kenya. The industry has an immerse pool of highly skilled labour. Workers are the backbone of the flower industry. KFC is delighted that this a simple gesture to demonstrate how much workers are valued and their contribution appreciated,” added Kenya Flower Council CEO Clement Tulezi.

The flower sub-sector is projected to employ over 200,000 workers directly on farms across the country.

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