59 percent of Kenyans want places of worship reopened


59 percent of Kenyans want places of worship reopened
File image of a church service at Holy Family Basilica in Nairobi. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • According to a new survey by Infotrak conducted between May 28 and June 2, the support for the reopening is more profound at the Coast and Western Kenya at 77 and 64 percent respectively.
  • However, the support to reopen the places of worship is seen highly in urban settings at 64 percent in comparison to rural areas whose backing sits at a lower 57 percent.
  • Further to the respondents view on the re-opening of places of worship, Kenyans continue to overwhelmingly support the current closure of schools at 70 percent.

A majority 59 percent of Kenyans have expressed support for the reopening of places of worship as government mulls a further ease to restrictions on public gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a new survey by Infotrak conducted between May 28 and June 2, the support for reopening of worship places is more profound at the Coast and Western Kenya at 77 and 64 percent respectively.

However, the support to reopen the places of worship is seen highly in urban settings at 64 percent in comparison to rural areas whose backing sits at a lower 57 percent.

The vote of support comes through as the government pushes to put in place protocols to guide the desired reopening of places of worship.

On Friday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i along with Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe jointly appointed an Inter-Religious Council chaired by Catholic Archbishop Anthony Muheria to develop re-opening protocols.

Places of worship including churches and mosques have remained shut in recent months as part of the Covid-19 containment measures in the country.

Further to the respondents view on the re-opening of places of worship, Kenyans continue to overwhelmingly support the current closure of schools at 70 percent.

Fears on a spike to infections and the contraction of the virus by children tops the list of concerns at 41 and 21 percent respectively.

The observation of social distancing inside schools meanwhile makes for an even greater concern even as the fear ranks at 15 percent.

From recorded precautionary measures to protect children at home, 58 percent of the surveyed respondents say they have had their children use face masks while playing together with 53 percent supervising the interactions.

However, only half the respondents have reported the observation of social distancing amongst children as parents observed the measure as difficult to abide by.

The observations come as the government through the Ministry of Education and Health work in measures for a potential reopening of schools on September 1 with President Uhuru recently asking the Education Ministry to announce a revised school calendar in mid-August.

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Story By Kepha Muiruri
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