As part of the Global Day of Solidarity for Public Health Not Private Profit, the Wahenga Youth Group, together with the Devoted Foundation staged a protest gathering yesterday at the heart of the Kayole Eastlands, one of the largest urban poor communities in Kenya.
The groups are calling for mass testing and treatment for all in the face of the pandemic. They also demanded social protection for workers, farmers, and other toiling masses that have lost their livelihood brought about by the lockdown.
The groups are also demanding to hold the police accountable for excessive violence used to enforce COVID-19-related restrictions. Last March 27, officers fired tear gas, shotguns in the air, and beat people with canes and rubber hoses during the first night of the curfew in the city. Dozens were injured, including media practitioners who were covering the incident.
At least 72 percent of Nairobi residents live in slums, where access to basic facilities and critical infrastructure is wanting. There is limited access to water for the required handwashing and other sanitation practices. There are 225 confirmed COVID-19 cases and ten fatalities in Kenya today, while there are 16,265 cases and 873 number of deaths in 52 countries of the continent.
The globally coordinated action was organized by the International League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS) to ask governments to give primacy on the public and the common good instead of private profit and power during the pandemic. ILPS also call for its membership to pay attention to the welfare of the masses and continue to arouse, organize and mobilize the people and assert their democratic and anti-imperialist demands.