Lockdown Day 1 in Lupane

Nonhlanhla Ngwenya

Zimbabwe went on a 21 day lock-down starting Monday 30th March. Lock-downs have been implemented by a third of countries world-wide as a way to curb the spread of the pandemic of the new novel coronavirus known as Covid-19.

Rural communities like Lupane found it difficult to heed to the call on lock-down due to confusion and misinformation on what the Coronavirus is and how deadly it can be.

Villagers at Lupane Business Centre going on with everyday business unaware of the danger that Covid-19 poses

Alfred Sihwa who is the founder of Mabhikwa Community Radio and director of Sibanye Animal Welfare and Conservancy Trust spoke to Community Radio Harare and pointed out some of the major reasons why people in Lupane decided to go on with their daily business on the first day of the lockdown.

“There is one water point and its a source of living and a social convergence point. Scarcity of mealie-meal and basic supplies is another factor that will force people to meet in huge numbers at the business centres” explained Sihwa

Alfred also mentioned that people are not informed about COVID-19. He called upon civil society and the government to intervene in bringing awareness of the Covid-19 educating people on the importance of social distancing, avoiding unnecessary movements and teaching villagers on other preventive measures that people in rural areas can adhere to.

He called upon the government and civil society organisations to help with sanitisers, masks and gloves that can be given to volunteers manning boreholes.
” There is need to have volunteers who will sanitise boreholes and educate villagers on social distancing and other preventive measures that people in towns are adhering to”.

Villagers queuing to get water from a community borehole

The Covid-19 has so far as of 30th March 2020 claimed over 36 000 deaths and over 771 500 people infected world-wide.

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