Uber employs more than 12,000 drivers in Kenya. All of the more than 80 people who were interviewed expressed distress and said they were barely making ends meet.

By now it’s a familiar story: Uber enters a new market, enticing drivers with big promises and relatively high pay. Drivers base their decisions — like whether to buy a car that meets Uber’s standards — on these initial terms. Then, as more drivers flood the platform, Uber drops rates, in many cases leaving the drivers saddled with debt and no way to pay it off.