An outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus in Ghana’s Zongo communities and slum would much be devastating due to the disconnect between the existing proscribed protocols by government to curbing the spread of the coronavirus and the reality of social life in these poor communities.
Members of these communities believe a more tailored approach is needed towards to bridging the gap in the existing proscribed protocols to curb the spread of the Covid 19.
To this end, Peoples Dialogue on Human Settlement, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) has organized a a day’s durbar to sensitize the people of Old Fadama, a slum community in the capital city of Accra on the need for the community to find a response and management strategy for Covid 19, in order to take their destiny into their own hands.
With the community’s own funding from the Ghana Federation for the Urban poor have began an education campaign among the slum dwellers.
The education is under the theme spread the message not the virus.
At the official launch of the campaign, community member vowed to eschew all form of political, tribal and religious coloration to join in fight against the spread of the coronavirus.
They carefully map up the community into zones and formed a Community Coordinating Council to reach out to the various zones.
With some support from the Peoples Dialogue on Human Settlement and their savings, they are able to supply some community members with hand sanitizers, nose masks and hand gloves as a support measure.
Leaders of the Community-led Response and Management of Covid-19 however noted more support is needed to succeed in these fight.
“We are committed to this course as far as government is committed to bridging this social gap; there is the need for the supply of more WASH facilities and education” NDC’s constituency Chairman who doubles as chairman of the committee said.
His comments were collaborated by the Chairman of the New Patriotic NPP in the area ” we are together in this and call for support.
The Executive Director of the Peoples Dialogue on Human Settlement, Mr Farouk Braimah in an interview commended government for its national efforts to stop the spread of the virus but was quick to note that most of the measures do not resonate with Zongos and slum dwellers unless there is a conscious effort to bridge the gab.
” What happens beyond the social exclusion or a lockdown in such poor communities” he asked.
Standard of living have shaped the lives of these people such that social exclusion have become difficult.
According to a resident, Ms Shefatu Muniru who cooks rice and sells with her colleagues revealed that they are eleven in number sharing a single room.
Like the case of Shefatu, it is common to find over fifteen people living in one room. community members share bathhouses and toilet facilities.
Addressing the gathering the Metropolitan Health Director for the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Madam Florence Kuukyi said the health directorate is enforcing to the later the directives on social distancing and effective hand washing.
She emphasized that persons who fail to adhere to the directives would be dealt with accordingly.
She pledged the support of the Assembly towards the community’s effort.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
Writer’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org