EAL part in the fight against COVID-19 in Africa
Small donations but huge impact among farmers
It is reported that 1.2 billion people in the world continue to see hand washing with soap and water to be a luxury. As COVID-19 spreads throughout Africa, businesses and organisations like UN Women, IFAD, FAO, WHO, AU and European Commission are rallying together taking a positive stance towards stay healthy campaigns and diverting their profits to supply basics to most vulnerable communities. Many are meeting this crisis with a sense of generosity and responsibility that makes us optimistic about future plans.
At EuroAfri Link we are responding to local need by extending a hand to African smallholder farmers and pastoralists donating 1000 hand sanitizers, masks and soap. EAL selects farmers as recipient target groups because they feed 80% of Africa’s population and beyond. Our first stops were Rwanda and Uganda. We aim to reach 50,000 farmers and pastoralists in rural Africa especially youths and women led businesses.
Together with our partners, we focus on helping smallholder farmers restart their activities in a smarter and more efficient way. Where COVID-19 is still at an early stage in Africa, immediate measures are paramount to contain the virus.
Our programme work to combat COVID-19: achievements, approach and learning
Rwanda has 176 confirmed cases of coronavirus during the undertaking of this campaign according to the BBC and confirmed by the Rwanda Ministry of Health as of 25th April 2020. Our partner in Rwanda, INGABO Syndicate provided material aid distributing masks and soap to farmers as well as engaging in pedagogical-education measures to raise awareness about the virus causes, symptoms and prevention methods in the local language, creating a social supportive climate where farmers feel confident in understanding the information.
INGABO Syndicate works with 8 cooperatives and 600 farmer groups with a total of 15,000 farmers. With this campaign, they visited 300 farmers in Ruri, Kinini, Karama and Mata areas, in the district of Muhanga, in the Southern province. Here are pictures and videos of some of their activities.
Uganda has 260 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of the 19th of May with no deaths recorded. Our partner AfriFood campaign on reaching out to pastoralists was designed to go beyond the distribution of soap supplies and work on the virus sensitisation and awareness creation of the virus among farmers. AfriFood supports more than 3,500 farmers and pastoralists in 8 different cooperatives and businesses. With this campaign, they visited pastoralists in Manyattas (homesteads) and Kraals in Karamoja serving directly 1,700 farmers with strategies for COVID-19 prevention, detection, livestock marketing and mark. To date, our collaborative efforts has impacted 11,000 lives.
According to Johns Hopkins University, Cameroon is one hardest hit countries in Africa with more than 10,638 confirmed cases and 282 deaths as of June 19th this year. North West Cooperative Association (NWCA) our partner in this campaign is out to reach out to smallholder farmers in three divisions. The message delivered by the health workers was key in this campaign beside the distribution of soap and masks to farm families. NWCA supports about 35,000 farm families with 13 cooperatives and Associations in 7 divisions of the North West region of Cameroon. With this campaign, they will be visiting farmers in Bamenda (homesteads) Ngoketunjia and Boyo divisions. (Still ongoing)
At EuroAfri Link we will continue to use the networks we have of trusted teams and longstanding relationships with communities to deliver emergency support to target groups.
We will continue to distribute material aid as well as invest in pedagogical and educational measures to maximise positive impact. Providing informative sessions on COVID-19 causes, symptoms and preventive measures against the virus in the local language supports EAL’s goal to identify which needs matter most to farmers in order to effectively respond to the crisis.
We are constantly reviewing our projects with NWCA, INGABO Syndicate and AfriFood to ensure we adapt to the propagation of the virus.
Longer term, we will be using our expertise to expand the reach of our resources by drawing inspiration from the lessons learned to propose similar projects beyond Cameroon, Rwanda and Uganda.
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