Kenya: COVID-19 Market Monitoring Initiative in Nairobi informal settlements factsheet (March 2021)



The total number of positive COVID-19 cases in Kenya stood at 134,058 as of 31 March 2021. Social distancing measures, including the temporary closing of venues or large public gatherings were put in place in March 2020 to prevent the spread of the virus. These measures, while necessary from a public health perspective, are likely to negatively impact market systems on which vulnerable populations in Nairobi depend.

To understand the impact on market systems and inform humanitarian programming in light of COVID-19, IMPACT Initiatives, in coordination with Oxfam, Concern Worldwide, ACTED, the Kenya Red Cross, Wangu Kanja Foundation and Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW), conducted a joint market monitoring exercise in Gatina, Gitare-Marigo, Kibera, Korogocho, Kayole, Lunga Lunga, Majengo, Mathare, Mukuru and Soweto informal settlements in Nairobi county. This seventh round of market monitoring was conducted from 16 to 19 March 2021. This round followed the sixth round of market monitoring conducted from 9 to 12 February 2021. Previous rounds of market monitoring were conducted in June, July, August, September and October 2020.

During this round, the median reported price of a majority of the assessed items remained unchanged while the median price of some items increased. Only the median price of onions was found to have decreased by 13%. Despite the increase in the median price of some items, community members were reportedly having a low purchasing power which could have contributed to the increased proportion of retailers ( from 51% in February to 67% in March) reporting a fall in demand for commodities.

This factsheet presents an overview of median prices of key food and non-food items (NFIs), stock levels, restocking times, and challenges faced by retailers in light of COVID-19, as well as the main supply points where retailers get their commodities. Findings are indicative for assessed locations and the time frame in which the data was collected since the interviews were conducted with purposively selected retailers.