COVID-19 impacts on coastal communities in Kenya

Lau, Jacqueline, Sutcliffe, Sarah, Barnes, Michele, Mbaru, Emmanuel, Muly, Innocent, Muthiga, Nyawirah, Wanyonyi, Stephen, and Cinner, Joshua E. (2021) COVID-19 impacts on coastal communities in Kenya. Marine Policy, 134. 104803.

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COVID-19 is continuing to have far-reaching impacts around the world, including on small-scale fishing communities. This study details the findings from 39 in-depth interviews with community members, community leaders, and fish traders in five communities in Kenya about their experiences since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, 2020. The interviews were conducted by mobile phone between late August and early October 2020. In each community, people were impacted by curfews, rules about gathering, closed travel routes, and bans on certain activities. Fish trade and fisheries livelihoods were greatly disrupted. Respondents from all communities emphasized how COVID-19 had disrupted relationships between fishers, traders, and customers; changed market demand; and ultimately made fishing and fish trading livelihoods very difficult to sustain. While COVID-19 impacted different groups in the communities—i.e., fishers, female fish traders, and male fish traders—all experienced a loss of income and livelihoods, reduced cash flow, declining food security, and impacts on wellbeing. As such, although small-scale fisheries can act as a crucial safety net in times of stress, the extent of COVID-19 disruptions to alternative and informal livelihoods stemmed cash flow across communities, and meant that fishing was unable to fulfil a safety net function as it may have done during past disruptions. As the pandemic continues to unfold, ensuring that COVID-19 safe policies and protocols support continued fishing or diversification into other informal livelihoods, and that COVID-19 support reaches the most vulnerable, will be critical in safeguarding the wellbeing of families in these coastal communities.

Item ID: 69501
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-9460
Copyright Information: Published Version: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. The Author Accepted Version may be made open access in an Institutional Repository under a CC BY-NC-ND license after a 24 month embargo.
Funders: Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA), Australian Research Council (ARC), ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Projects and Grants: WIOMSA MASMA/ CP/2020/01, ARC CE140100020, ARC FT160100047
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2021 23:37
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4406 Human geography > 440699 Human geography not elsewhere classified @ 40%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4404 Development studies > 440405 Poverty, inclusivity and wellbeing @ 40%
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300599 Fisheries sciences not elsewhere classified @ 20%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280123 Expanding knowledge in human society @ 40%
19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1999 Other environmental policy, climate change and natural hazards > 199999 Other environmental policy, climate change and natural hazards not elsewhere classified @ 40%
10 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 1003 Fisheries - wild caught > 100399 Fisheries - wild caught not elsewhere classified @ 20%
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