News and Events

Increasing community resilience in the face of COVID-19


To read our most recent update on our COVID-19 response, click here


“Sanitation is one of the basic necessities, which contributes to human dignity and quality of life and is an essential prerequisite for success in the fight against poverty, hunger, child deaths, gender inequality and empowerment.”

~Dept. Water & Sanitation SA.

I want to include the credit card processing fee (3%) in my total to further Africa Foundation (USA)'s mission.

Alternatively, you can mail a check to: PO Box 233, Friday Harbor, WA 98250


SANITATION AND WATER ACCESS

319 million people in sub-Saharan Africa still do not have access to a hygienic water point, a figure which equates to 48% of Africa’s population (WHO). In the rural areas of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu Natal Province, South Africa, more than 12% of the population have no access at all to piped water and a further 13% have to travel over 200 meters to reached piped water from a communal tap.

The people who are affected by water scarcity also tend to be the most vulnerable members of society in other ways; they suffer from poor nutrition, limited funds, and the effects of the countries HIV/AIDs and TB epidemic, significantly reducing their immune system.

The main precautionary measures advised by WHO in the face of COVID-19 are:

  • Frequent and comprehensive handwashing practices.
  • Social distancing.

Both of these are made difficult by a lack of household access to water, and a dependency on communal taps.

  


The Government of South Africa has taken stringent precautionary measures to ‘flatten the curve’ of infection so as not to over burden the healthcare system. However, in rural communities, the healthcare facilities are already woefully under-resourced and under-capacitated to effectively manage an outbreak of COVID-19.
Many rural clinics do not even have a direct water supply. They are dependent on municipality deliveries of water in tanks, or their own collection of water from community taps.

The Government closure of schools is a step to increase social distancing. While beneficial, the result has been an increased strain on centers which provide support for orphaned and vulnerable children (OVCs). Children whose home circumstances are unable to meet their physical and emotional needs depend on these centers for food, mentorship, life skills education and access to healthcare and social workers. Children are now attending the centers more often and for longer periods, and in doing so are at increased risk of infection.

 


Our goal is to act fast and ensure that:

  1. Clinics have access to water – through the repair or provision of new boreholes.
  2. The children and staff at OVC centers are kept as safe as possible, through the provision of safe water supply and sanitizers.
  3. Vulnerable households with no direct water supply have a hippo water roller which easily transports and stores 90 liters of water, reducing the frequency at which a person has to visit a communal water collection point.

$60 – Provides 10 liters of hand sanitizer to an OVC center.

$200 – Buys a Hippo Roller for a vulnerable household, to collect and store water more easily and efficiently.

$2,000 – Can fund repairs of broken boreholes and taps at clinics and OVC centers.

$10,000 – Enables the drilling and installation of a water borehole to provide additional water sources in critical locations.

 

HOUSEHOLD FOOD SECURITY

Nationwide lockdowns have been the main response by governments to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the country, reducing the potential strain on the healthcare system and protecting lives. The consequence however is that children are not attending schools and pre-school. In these institutions they would usually receive a daily hot meal, which they are now deprived of. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 20% of South African households had inadequate access to food, with households of more than three children being disproportionately affected. This meant that the meal provided at school, was to many parents, almost important as the education itself.

 

The unintended consequence of reducing COVID-19 fatalities, is lives placed at risk through hunger and malnutrition.

In South Africa, schools have been closed since March 16th and a strict nationwide lockdown was put into place on March 27th. The initial 21-day period was extended until May 1st. It is however unclear whether schools will reopen in May or if some social distancing restrictions will continue for a longer period.

While measures are being put into place by the government to roll out additional support for households receiving child support and other social services, the communities in which Africa Foundation is active, are already struggling to feed their families, due to a loss of income and an increased demand for food at household level. Our intent is to provide some immediate relief to help families to recover quickly, through two months of supplementary food parcels.

OUR RESPONSE

As the pandemic unfolds, Africa Foundation is well positioned within communities to identify the most critical needs, and form partnerships with key stakeholders to implement maximum impact responses. In both KwaZulu Natal and Mpumulanga, Africa Foundation staff have permits to work during the lockdown to support clinics and other institutions trying to care for the community’s most vulnerable. The result is that a short-term initiative has been established to provide supplementary food parcels to vulnerable households.

While this is outside of our normal activities and not sustainable, we are in unprecedented times and are agile to respond to that. We are pleased to be able to benefit from our partnership with andBeyond to link us to the supply chains for delivering bulk food orders in these areas, enabling us to proceed rapidly with the logistics of this new project. Households will be identified based on a child’s registration at a pre-school in the community, which is supported by the foundation. Having collected enrollment data, it has been established that there is an average of 60 children per pre-school, each from a household of, on average, 6 members.

We anticipate providing food parcels for 2 months – May and June – at a cost of $50 per food parcel – $8 per household member. Therefore to deliver this initiative to a full pre-school for two months will cost $6,000.

$50 – Provides a food parcel containing a month’s worth of food to a household with preschool age children.

$60 – Provides 10 liters of hand sanitizer to an Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s (OVC) center.

$200 – Buys a Hippo Roller for a vulnerable household, to collect and store water more easily and efficiently.

$2,000 – Can fund repairs of broken boreholes and taps at clinics and OVC centers.

$10,000 – Enables the drilling and installation of a water borehole to provide additional water sources in critical locations.


I want to include the credit card processing fee (3%) in my total to further Africa Foundation (USA)'s mission.

Alternatively, you can mail a check to: PO Box 233, Friday Harbor, WA 98250


To read our most recent update on our COVID-19 response, click here


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Africa Foundation (USA) is a US public charity (EIN: 88-0461880), contributions to which may be tax deductible for US federal income tax purposes under Section 501(c)(3) of the US Internal Revenue Code.

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