On this Labour Day in Kenya, as we reflect on the recent floods that have tested the resilience of Nairobi’s communities, it’s essential to extend our gratitude not only to the brave first responders but also to those who laboured tirelessly through the crisis to save lives and uphold the dignity of family livelihoods.

A rich history to recall

Originating from the labour union movements of the late 19th century, Labour Day is a global acknowledgment of the labour force’s pivotal role in shaping societies. In Kenya, the observance of Labour Day traces back to its colonial past when workers, predominantly from the agricultural and railway sectors, began to unite to demand fair wages, better working conditions, and the recognition of their fundamental rights.

Sustainable Agriculture in Kenya - The Borgen Project


The struggle for workers’ rights in Kenya gained momentum during the early 20th century, marked by significant labour strikes and protests. One of the most notable events was the 1922 Nairobi General Strike, where thousands of workers from diverse backgrounds stood together in solidarity, demanding improved working conditions and an end to exploitative labour practices.

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Over the decades, the labour movement in Kenya continued to evolve, advocating for social justice, equality, and economic empowerment. The formation of trade unions played a crucial role in amplifying workers’ voices and negotiating with employers and the government for better terms of employment.

PHOTOS] Floods wreak havoc as rescue missions continue

Strength through adversity

As we gather to celebrate the contributions of workers across the nation, let us take a moment to recognize the extraordinary efforts of individuals who, amidst the chaos and uncertainty brought by the floods, continued to toil selflessly to ensure the safety and well-being of their fellow citizens.
Their dedication and commitment to their duties exemplify the true essence of labour—working not only for personal gain but also for the greater good of society. In the face of adversity, they stood firm, demonstrating unwavering resolve and compassion for those in need.
As we pay tribute to the labour force on this special day, let us remember and honor the unsung heroes who laboured through the floods, embodying the spirit of solidarity, resilience, and sacrifice. Their acts of courage and selflessness serve as a testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit in times of crisis.
On this Labour Day, let us celebrate not only the achievements of the past but also the indomitable spirit of the present—a spirit that continues to inspire hope and unity in the face of adversity. Together, let us reaffirm our commitment to building a better, more inclusive society where the contributions of every individual are valued and honored.