Local traders warn of shortage of supplies as shops close

Written By: Regina Manyara

Kenyans should expect a shortage of supplies as a section of local traders close shop in efforts geared at mitigating the spread of Covid 19.

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Chief Executive Officer Importer and Small Traders Association of Kenya (ISTA), Samuel Karanja further called on the government to give definitive guidelines on strategies to cushion Micro Small Medium Enterprises from impeding losses, saying current measures are ambiguous and lack implementation guidelines.

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During the last five years Kenya’s imports have increased at an annualized rate of 3.7%, with most recent imports are led by Refined Petroleum which represent 14.2% of the total imports of Kenya, followed by Palm Oil, which account for 3.17%.

Its top import origin include china, India, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Japan, however the spread of the deadly corona virus has seen countries go on lockdown the most recent being India.

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As such members allied to the  Importer and Small Traders Association of Kenya as well as the Nairobi Importers and Small Traders Association have opted to cease operations till further notice.

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Karanja says while move will aide in mitigating on the spread of covid- 19, government needs to give clear cut guidelines on how to cushion local traders from imminent losses.

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He further noted that despite announcing austerity measures by the exchequer, banks have remained mum on the matter proposing that banks restructure existing loans and offer affordable loans when need arises.

In 2017 Kenya imported 17.1 billion dollars, making it the 75th largest importer in the world.


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