Corona Virus Response
Coronavirus Pandemic 2020
Since November 2019, the spread of the novel coronavirus and its associated disease Covid-19 has affected and continues to affect millions of people across the world.
On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation declared the new coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic.
Now the world’s poorest countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America are facing a fresh wave of the epidemic amidst existing global inequality and current humanitarian crises.
We urgently need your help to support the most vulnerable to stop the spread and save lives.
ActionAid’s Response Work so far…
We are distributing food parcels to as many communities and households as we can. At this stage, the more funds we receive for this initiative the more we can help the hungry. So far we have distributed food to households in Mokopane and Johannesburg.
Recently, ActionAid South Africa Country Director, Nondumiso Nsibande was in Mokopane to assist communities with the delivery of food during these difficult times. The focus was on child-headed homes, single parents and the elderly.
Nondumiso said “We are not just living through a public-health crisis, but an economic one. Through unpaid care work, women still effectively provide a huge subsidy to the paid economy.
Women are the ones who are affected the most by the spread of the Corona Virus for one important reason – women make up most of the care workforce in the face of this pandemic and there is little or no recognition of their contribution in compensating them for the value of their unpaid care work. This is another form of exploitation and it should not be allowed to continue.”
Sustainable Food Security (Growing Vegetable in a Bag)
Economic downturns as a result of Covid-19 restrictions have caused one of the largest increases in hunger. This has an impact on people who are affected by poverty, particularly in the most rural parts of South Africa.
The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) and ActionAid collaborated in identifying 20 communities across three provinces where the growing vegetables in a bag concept has been successfully implemented. The project’s objective was to identify a cost-effective method for communities to grow vegetables/plants in their backyards using a bag.
The system is a low input cost modified hydroponic production system. It comprises the use of polypropylene bags or simply empty maize meal bags of about 100 cm high x 70 cm wide, filled with sawdust and placed upright on the ground surface to grow leafy green vegetables vertically in the open field or under a 30% white shade net (similar the Intensive vegetable tunnel described above). Small holes of (3 cm×3 cm) are uniformly perforated around the bags following the desired planting density for insertion of the transplanted seedlings of different crops. With swiss chard and other leafy vegetables 40 plants per bag and 52 bags per 100m2, will yield 12 kg per bag of leafy vegetables over four harvests = 624 kg yield over 4 harvests within 2-3 months from planting.
Irrigation is done by using a normal watering can at 2-4L per bag per day. A soluble inorganic fertilizer, containing all the necessary macro and micronutrients, is added at 5g per 10L to feed the plants with each irrigation. The system is especially suitable for the planting of leafy vegetables in household gardens with no arable soil for open field production since the plants are growing vertically upwards. More than 50 communities have benefited across three provinces through this initiative
23 March 2020, the South African lockdown was announced. With only three days to take action, we faced challenges such as keeping our staff safe and healthy, along with pushing local municipalities to collaborate, but just hours before lockdown we managed to provide access to water in the form of two JoJo water tanks to one rural village in Greytown-KZN and four tanks to rural villages in Kuruman-Northern Cape Province. Having water near their homes, means women and children in these communities don’t have to travel unsafe and far distances to fetch limited amounts of water for the use of the entire family.
Water is a basic right and is expecially critical to ensure constant washing of hands during the pandemic.
We are currently working to ensure the communities we work with are kept up to date with factual information on how to avoid contracting COVID-19, what to do and to ensure they know their rights and where to seek help in the midst of a pandemic.
ActionAid South Africa is part of a coalition called C19 Response, which consists of what is currently 170 NGO’s working together to ensure social justice for vulnerable people is realised during this time of national disaster in South Africa.Our role in this group is to advise on how we will support survivors of Gender-Based Violence through the lockdown period and beyond, as well as partnering for the development of action groups who will be based within communities we work with to ensure that basic service provision such as food, water and other essential services.
Working with Government
We worked with partner organisations to develop letters of demand the President and the Department of Social Development to ensure legislation around COVID-19, as well as the solidarity fund, is supporting the majority of South Africans, who are vulnerable people living in poverty.As a result, we have a direct link to the government and are in negotiations to ensure people who do not form part of the formal SMME groups; those who own spaza shops, are casual labourers, farm workers and street sellers are not left out when providing relief throughout the pandemic
Supporting Partner Organisations
Partnering with Rise Above Gender-Based Violence Africa your contribution provided care packages containing soaps, sanitisers, food and water to women affected by abuse.
We further provided support to Tosunga Baninga who act as a half-way house and shelter for abused women, in the form of funds towards basic needs for women such as food, toiletries, sanitisers for the women at the shelter.
Online Support for Victims of Violence
We are in the process of developing an online platform that victims of abuse can access to seek psycho-social support from a network of over 70 social workers, councilors, and psychologists. This will also be an information platform on how and where to seek help in times of crisis.
Donate to Actionaid
Are you a Survivor of Violence?