Pass any restaurant today and everyone is ordering all variants of chicken or fish on the menu and skipping anything that contains beef. Drive past many of the popular nyama choma (roast meat) eating places and there are more staff than customers and very few vehicles parked outside. Bulls that used to fetch 20,000 shillings ($285) at weekly auctions can now be bought for as little as 5,000 shillings. And the latest marketing gimmick is that you’ll get a free ¼ kilo if you buy a kilo of meat at some butcheries.
The cause of all this is rift valley fever, a mysterious deadly disease, that has spread slowly from the remote parts of North Eastern Kenya but has now reached Nairobi and other urban areas despite several measures taken to combat it.