Laikipia has partnered with an internet firm and the National Chamber of Commerce to develop an e-commerce platform to help businesses and provide home delivery during the corona virus crisis.The platform encourages people to stay indoors o curb the spread of the disease.

The county government has partnered with Mawingu Networks and KNCCI to develop an online trading platform that will provide home deliveries,” KNCCI Laikipia chairman Ndegwa Gitonga said.

The joint effort aims to bring onboard suppliers of food and medicine on a common mobile phone-based platform where they can do business remotely.

The mobile phone application enables buyers and sellers to exchange contact details to allow exchange of goods and services remotely. It also allows government agencies such as the public health officers to ensure the suppliers on the platform adhere to health regulations.

“We are keen on promoting e-commerce to promote large-scale e-commerce in Laikipia. The  Covid-19 crisis is introducing changes in habits, and we must sustain innovative solutions even after the crisis,” Deputy Governor John Mwaniki said.

In Nanyuki, the local branch of international Fast Food outlet Java House, is also feeling the effects of the shutting down eateries. Supervisor Beatrice Mumbi, said online orders are starting to pick up.

“We have scaled-down operations but with the rising trend in online orders, we might spare ourselves complete closure,” she said.

The restaurant has partnered with a local delivery agency, although some customers prefer sending in motorcycle taxis to pick their orders.

Nanyuki hotel operator Festus Mutie who has adopted the technology said delivering food to his clients’ homes ensured his business is up and running, although not as normal.

He said home deliveries are limited to solid food for now, which is denying him a good deal of income from drinks. However, the hotelier predicts that packaging of food and other products for direct delivery will present a new competition front.

He said the more the businesses venture into e-commerce, the better the odds for those offering special packaging, and he is confident he is well prepared.

The county government has already adopted video-conferencing for all its managerial and cabinet meetings. It is expected to continue after the corona virus crisis to save time and resources, Mwaniki said.