To help our communities protect themselves from COVID-19 and all of its devastating consequences, Tevel has launched a COVID-19 prevention campaign in Zambia. People living in rural areas are even more susceptible to income and health disruptions than those of us in the developed world. Tevel’s previous community development work with the villages, have put us in a good position to help the prevention effort.
Rural villagers in Zambia rely on subsistence farming or fishing and have no safety net to protect them when they are not able to travel to the local markets to get food and supplies. In addition, access to health care is extremely limited so if they get sick they will have nowhere to turn.
When the crisis hit, Tevel quickly joined with the local health clinic and organized a rapid needs assessment in the village, surveying over 100 villagers to understand their needs and their current understanding of the virus and how it spreads. Through this effort they understood that:
- 65% of the community only wash their hands at home, and not in public spaces like the market and the church. The majority of respondents only wash their hands after going to the toilet.
- 40% of the community has access to soap while others use alternatives such as ashes, leaves or lemon.
- 50% of the community members leave the village to urban markets in Kafue or Lusaka at least once a month either to sell their produce or to buy goods to their home.
After collecting this information, Tevel and the health clinic staff worked together to build handwashing stations in the market and other gathering areas and educate the population on prevention behaviors. Watch Sarah Haloba, Tevel b’Tzedek Zambia’s Social Development Officer, describe the project on the ground here.
To date we have already built 50 washing stations and delivered dozens of education sessions.
As travel is restricted and urban markets become hotspots for the coronavirus transmission rural dwellers are having more and more difficult to attain basic foods, supplies and farming inputs necessary as well as sell their goods in order to earn income to support their daily needs. As the dry season begins, the situation has become even more dire.
Tevel’s food security intervention will help villagers attain the food, supplies, and equipment they need to sustain themselves during the dry season.
Tevel plans to provide 200 kitchen garden kits, a mill to grind maize into flour for the staple food Nshima, a smoking device for fish and an oil processor. The process machinery will allow farmers to process their goods in the village, thus minimizing their need to go out of the village and exposing themselves and their community to the COVID-19 virus.
We need your help to continue the prevention campaign and support the food security program in Zambia. Please donate to our Zambia campaign. Your partnership is essential to helping Zambians prevent coronavirus and build self-sufficiency during these threatening times.
Every little bit helps. You can help save lives. Donate now.