Nairobi News


Matatu operators ask govt to supply industry with face masks

By Amina Wako April 15th, 2020 1 min read

The Association of Matatu Operators has asked the government to help in giving them and passengers face masks to help them in the fight against the coronavirus.

Jimal Ibrahim Hassan, the chairman of the association, said they had managed to give out over 30,000 masks to their drivers and conductors across the country.

“ Tungeomba serikali ya county na National government iweze kuingilia kati na kuweza kupatiana masks katika idara ya matatu,” Jimal said.

Jimal said it has become difficult for commuters to afford masks due to the harsh ecomomic times and the exorbitant prices being charged for them by traders.

“Abiria ukiweza kumwambia anunue mask ambaye moja inatoka Sh 100 na kutravel kutoka Thika hadi Nairobi ni Sh 50 itakuwa much more expenseive ndio tunaomba serikali tusaidiana,” he added.

The transport sector is among those affected most by the virus after the government issued strict transport directives to curb further spread of Covid-19 in the country.

With the government orders, commuter matatus are expected to provide hand-sanitisers to all passengers before entering their vehicles.

The passenger vehicles also need to be cleaned and fumigated twice a day and long-distance operators are asked to keep a detailed list of all their passengers.

To prevent contamination, the government said 14-seater matatus should carry only eight passengers and those with sitting capacity above 30 to carry not more than 60 percent of their capacity.

“Tumeweza kujitahidi kabisa despite the hard time yenye tunapata kwa industry so tungeomba serikali waweke mikono yao miwili katika sector ya Matatu because per day we are transporting 3 million people but despite the low season we are transporting 1.5 million people per day,” Jimal noted.

With the matatu transport industry struggling to retain its normal employees and passengers, Jimal said, a helping hand from the government will go a long way.