How is Kenya handling the Corona pandemic? Newsletter may 2020
What a time.
Just about all of the world is amazed by what's going on in the world. This is no exception here in Kenya. But of course a pandemic like the Coronavirus has a very different effect on a country like Kenya than in Europe.
We are now two months further since the first infection was detected in Kenya. Where a lockdown in Europe is reasonably achievable by the system, they try to do everything here in Kenya to prevent a lockdown. Many people live from hand to mouth in Kenya. What they earn on that day will help them eat that night. This makes it almost impossible to keep people in a lockdown without being allowed to work.
The Kenyan government therefore tries to do everything to ensure that the spread of the virus does not reach the same level as in Europe. Because we are well aware here of the catastrophic consequences this would have. If you realize that in the slums about 250,000 people live on 2.5 square kilometers - That is about a population density of 2000 people on 1 hectare - then you realize that social distancing of two meters is almost impossible to achieve. Many of the people have underlying problems such as HIV, lack of proper nutrition and often 50 families share one toilet. There is no running water or sewage. A breeding ground for corona and other viruses.
So far we are at 649 infections, 30 deaths and 207 recovered. The figures will in any case be slightly higher, but not as dramatic as in Belgium. But that does not mean that people aren't severely affected here.
Many people have lost their jobs, the children do not go to school, so parents have to take this into account, the prices of food products have risen and the end does not yet seem to be in sight. There is a curfew from 19:00 to 06:00. Those who are not home on time fear that they will be sanctioned by the police and those sanctions have already resulted in deaths.
On top of that comes the plague of locusts, which causes a double disaster. In Kenya, the greenery on 70,000 hectares has been eaten so far. 30,000 people were directly affected and indirectly the entire population of Kenya suffers from this plague.
But of course this is not the whole story. We should not tell you how resilient, creative and innovative the Kenyans are. Despite these hard times, the community is pulling through. We are undergoing this collectively and where a helping hand is needed, everyone is ready for each other. People massively produce facemasks to hand out to the population, the government assists where necessary and, just like the rest of the world, people are clapping for the medical personnel.
April was the month of the school holidays. Plans were made to bring the children of Seed Of Love together, to work on projects and to work on our connection with the families. But it is our responsibility as an organization to ensure that our families and especially the children survive this time safely and healthy. Many families cannot see the Corona, but they can feel the hunger. That is why we are currently working out food packages. These packages will consist of the basics every family needs to cook. Our maize cultivation allows us to make corn flour ourselves which the families can use to make ugali. Until now, families and children have been getting through the situation, but uncertainty is playing its part. How long will this take? We hope to get a better view of everyone's situation during the distribution of the food packages.
We would like to thank several families of Belgium for their donations that allow us to assist the families during these times.
he doctor's cabinet continues to function in a normal manner, with the necessary measures, of course. Washing hands is mandatory and we ask patients to report corona-related symptoms immediately so that we do not pose a risk to other patients or staff. The children of the neighborhood are now well trained in the measures and therefore show a good example.
Unfortunately, many of the plans we had, including bringing the children together and building the delivery rooms, have been put on hold. But that is not to say that we are not fully developing ideas and projects to grow Seed Of Love, the children and families. For example, the water house has been a great treasure for us to work self-sufficient. But she urgently needs a makeover, don't you think? Someone who has ideas to creatively transform the water house can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All ideas are welcome.
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And also thanks to all of you who support Seed Of Love during this difficult time and continue to support us. Your help is greatly appreciated.