Nairobi, 14 June, 2020 / 8:33 pm (ACI Africa).
The effects of COVID-19 restrictions on “vulnerable populations” including displaced persons and “those on the move” is a cause for concern for Catholic Bishops in Kenya who are appealing to various stakeholders including Government to intervene “urgently”.
“As we continue to combat COVID-19, we are concerned about its impact on vulnerable populations including refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and people on the move e.g. truck drivers, pastoralists, persons living on the streets and persons with mental illness,” the Bishops in Kenya have said in a collective statement read out on Corpus Christi Sunday, June 14.
The Bishops note that refugees and IDPs residing in densely populated camps face the risk of contracting COVID-19. They appeal for “deliberate mitigation measures” to be “urgently implemented” in order to protect these vulnerable groups of people.
In their collective message, which Bishop Virgilio Pante read out at the end of the televised Mass at Holy Family Minor Basilica in Nairobi, the Bishops note that “although reported cases of COVID-19 among pastoralist communities are low, there is need for sensitization of these communities on COVID-19 risk factors and preventive measures.”
As a way forward, the Bishops appeal to both County and National Governments in Kenya “to continue raising awareness among the pastoralist communities.”