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COVID-19: Nairobians Share Houses, Split Bills As Tough Financial Times Bite

Apartments in Pipeline, Embakasi (Courtesy)

Nairobians are among the most affected people as tough times due to Coronavirus pandemic continue to bite.

In a recent trend, residents are moving to cheaper houses, others are sharing houses to cut costs while others split bills to survive in various estates.

In Roysambu, houses have been left vacant with movement in and out of apartments experienced every single day.

According to a resident, Samuel Maina who is also a shop owner, massive job losses, salary cuts and close to zero income has necessitated the trend. For instance, Maina states that he had rented a space for his shop and a one-bedroom for his family but due to the tough times, he sent his family upcountry and moved into the shop which now also serves as his house.

Read: Nairobians Deserting The City Permanently In The Wake Of Coronavirus

The same has been witnessed where people living in two-bedroom apartments invite their friends/family members over and split the house rent so as to accommodate them and their changing lifestyles.

“I rented the shop for Sh10,000 monthly and a one-bedroom for my wife and two children for Sh15,000. In April, I was unable to service the two rents and I had to take my family upcountry to cut on costs. I now operate from the shop where I work during the day and partitioned it into a room where I sleep and cater to my other needs. I’ve seen my neighbors move from Sh20,000 houses to Sh10,000 while others bring in friends and split the rent 50/50,” said Maina.

Landlords have also not been left out as a section of them are reducing rent to accommodate more people as well as retain those already in their apartments. This trend cuts across the majority of estates including Umoja, Juja, Thika, Ruiru, Kasarani, Westlands, Pangani and many others.

Read Also: Nakuru Woman Locked Inside House With Sick Child Over Rent Arrears

Following the lift on the ban of movement in and out of Nairobi and other counties, netizens rushed to move upcountry so as to avoid being locked down in the Capital with huge bills to settle but no sources of income.

For instance, clips circulated on social media captured Nairobians massively deserting the city.

Some of those who have left the city included celebrities who opted for other towns such as Mombasa, Kilifi, Nakuru, Nanyuki, Machakos and even Embu.

For example, popular YouTubers Ramzzy and Shiko Nguru with a channel dubbed The Green Calabash relocated last month to Kilifi indicating that they wanted to be away from the chaos in the city.

Read Also: Heartbreaking Story Of Kang’undo Family Living In Thicket After Being Kicked Out Of Rented House Over Arrears

In yet another instance, human rights activist Boniface Mwangi revealed that he had plans to leave the city together with his family permanently in two years’ time.

“As a family, we are planning to move out of this city in two years’ time. We need sanity and Nairobi isn’t providing that. We want to live in a village, grow our own food and hang out at the local shopping center. Keep a Kali Simba too,” Mwangi wrote on Twitter.

With reports that the deadly Coronavirus isn’t going away very soon, people are opting for easier ways to live considering the massive job losses and reduced sources of income. Some are opting to move upcountry and practice farming to put food on the table as well as sort their bills.

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Written by Mercy Auma

Passionate about human interest stories and politics. Email news@kahawatungu.com

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