Easy Coach, a leading transport company in Kenya, has now lifted its ban on the transportation of fish and fish products in its buses, following a public outcry and criticism from the fish industry.
The company had earlier on August 11, 2023 announced the ban through a notice posted on its social media platforms and displayed on its buses.
The notice read: “Due to heartache among some of our clients, we have banned carrying of fish in our buses. Kindly bear with us as we strive to give you the best service.”
The notice sparked outrage among many Kenyans, especially those who rely on fish as a source of income or food. Some accusing the company of being insensitive and discriminatory, while others questioned the logic and legality of the ban.
The Kenya Fish Processors and Exporters Association (KFPEA) also condemned the ban, saying it was a violation of the rights of fish traders and consumers.
The association said that fish is a perishable commodity that requires timely transportation to the market, and that the ban would affect the livelihoods of thousands of people involved in the fish value chain.
The association also threatened to sue the company for loss of business and reputation, unless it reversed the ban within 24 hours.
In response to the backlash, Easy Coach lifted the ban on the same day, and apologized for any inconvenience caused. The company said that passengers can now carry fish and fish products as long as they are “appropriately packed”.
“We have listened to your feedback and we value it. We have lifted the ban on carrying fish in our buses. However, we request our esteemed customers to pack their fish well to avoid inconveniencing other passengers. Thank you for choosing Easy Coach,” the company said in a statement.
The company also said that it was committed to providing quality and affordable transport services to all its customers, regardless of their preferences or backgrounds.
The lifting of the ban was welcomed by many Kenyans, who praised the company for being responsive and flexible. However, some also urged the company to be more considerate and consultative before making such decisions in the future.