Before the coronavirus hit, Muna Nur Farah had started to hate her husband. He’d slink into their home in the Somali capital Mogadishu at 3:00am with empty pockets, his money squandered on the narcotic leaf khat. That changed a little over a week ago, as the pandemic spread through East Africa. To curb the disease, the government banned international flights – including those importing khat from Kenya – depriving men like Farah’s husband of the addictive drug.
“This week every day, he brings home money, vegetables, mangoes, meat, food,” she said happily. “I love him now. Life is superb.” Some Somalis, especially women and children, say coronavirus handed them an unexpected boon through the ban on khat flights.
“Women say a man who chews khat has another wife – called khat,” Farah’s husband, Abdullahi Ahmed said. “It is true.”
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