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With a lockdown looming large, how do you prepare yourself financially

On Wednesday 26 March, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced a nationwide curfew from 7 pm to 5 am effective from Friday 27th March.

The announcement came amid rumours that the government was to announce a total lockdown. As much as a majority of Kenyans believed that there might be a lockdown, the biggest fear has been whether or not a lockdown is possible in Kenya.

Well, announcing a lockdown is possible but keeping Kenyans in their houses is a whole different uphill task. It is already evident as most people are still travelling around the country even after the government advised Kenyans to stay indoors.

In a one of his popular speeches, former president the late Mzee Daniel Moi described an African man as difficult to deal with.”Mwafrika ni mgumu, kichwa ngumu,” (An African is hard headed) noted the former head of state.

In the event Covid-19 forces the government to announce a total lockdown in the country, the first test would be keeping Kenyans in their homes. Kenya’s police and armed forces might help with that if they maintain their daily patrols on the streets.

The armed forces are already being bashed by Kenyans for using excessive force to enforce the curfew. President Uhuru has also supported the Kenyan cry urging police officers to use as little force as they can but things don’t seem to change.If indeed it gets to a lockdown, there is a possibility that the police will use even more force to keep Kenyans indoors. For common Kenyans, the only way to prepare for this is to be as financially healthy as they can.

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Work to Minimize Movement

If the government announces a lockdown, some essential service providers will be excused from it so they may supply the essentials to Kenyans. A common mwananchi has the option to buy everything needed at once or be doing regular trips to the essential service providers.

However, in a lockdown just going to the shop risks being on the bad side of the law, that is according to our law enforcers. To be on the safe side, one can only buy all that is needed to stay at home for the period that the government will state.

This is why financial health is important. Those who had already saved up for a rainy day are safe because the clouds are just beginning to gather. Kenyans who have not saved up for this still have some time to do so before the inevitable lockdown is announced.

Gather your Assets

One might not have the cash to plough through a lockdown but have something valuable that is not that important to them. The earlier you know the amount of money you can gather from selling some assets the better.

More cases of Covid-19 are being reported on daily basis hinting that a total lockdown might actually happen. People are looking to buy what they need in case of a lockdown. With most stores already closed, this a chance for Kenyans to sell to one another.

It is now the time to know what to sell and the money you can get from it. The earlier you exchange that asset for cash, the earlier you will be prepared for a lockdown.

Be Creative and Get a New Side Hustle

Many Kenyans have already lost their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 effect on the economy. Some have already gave up hope and are striving to survive with the little cash they have while others have set out looking for more.
The global pandemic has taught many a lesson that they ought to have set up a side hustle when they could. However, it is not too late.

As much as Covid-19 has negatively affected the economy, it has also seen the birth of some Micro, Small, and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs). Many people in town are now selling masks and sanitizers to Kenyans who are looking to protect themselves from the virus.

It is possible to find an opportunity that no one has explored during this pandemic yet. In entreprenuership, creativty is the best tool as it gives you an upper hand over competition.

Options When Worse Gets to Worst

The government might announce a lockdown when you are least prepared for one. This is when you get to explore all your last minute options.

An easy option can be to get a loan but at this time it will be very difficult to get one. Everyone is running to lenders to try and get the finances needed to survive this pandemic. It is a last resort for many but a shot worth taking.

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About the Author

Kevin Namunwa is a senior reporter for Business Today. Email at [email protected]

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