NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 31 – A new survey by research firm Infotrak has projected that 95 per cent of Kenyans have had a difficult year in what has been attributed to the harsh economic conditions triggered by the coronavirus pandemic that hit the country in mid-March.
The survey conducted with a sample population of 800 respondents across 24 counties cited unemployment, the high cost of living and access to healthcare as some of the issues that greatly affected Kenyans during the year.
Sixty-one per cent of those sampled stated that the year had been extremely difficult.
Another 44 percent of those surveyed stated that financial instability was the biggest reason for the difficulties experienced with 24 per cent reporting either having lost their jobs or had their businesses collapse.
With less than 24 hour to the end of the year, 61 per cent of the respondents however said they were optimistic that 2021 would be a better year.
“Of those sampled, 38 percent were very optimistic, 23 percent being somewhat optimistic, 30 percent average, 6 percent not optimistic and 3 percent not at all optimistic,” Infotrak’s Chief Executive Officer Angela Ambitho said on Thursday while releasing the data.
Kenyans living in the North Eastern were the most optimistic with 70 per cent of those surveyed in the region hoping that 2021 would bring better tidings.
“Twenty-seven percent of the surveyed respondents who are optimistic about the new year are confident that the economy will improve. 15 percent are hopeful that Kenyans will receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” she said.
On the other hand, she noted that those who were pessimistic, making up 36 per cent of the respondents, were of the opinion that the economy would worsen in 2021.
Another 15 per cent was fearful that COVID-19 will continue to wreak havoc in the country and destroy livelihoods.
With the unprecedent year bringing forth misery to many, there was nothing much to smile about during the festive period.
“About 8 in 10 of the surveyed respondents indicated that they have not celebrated this festive period as they have others in the past,” the pollster said.
Financial constrains and the COVID-19 situation in the country were cited as the top reasons for the diminishing pomp and colour that is usually associated with the festivities.