Blog

Coronavirus in Africa

15 May, 2020 | Amie Nevin
Categories: Case Study, Improved Cookstoves, Safe Water

It is clear from the rapid increase in cases across Africa this last month that the virus now appears to be spreading away from capital cities across the continent. The WHO warn Africa will become the next epicentre for Coronavirus, with new modelling showing a quarter of a billion people being infected during the first year. Whilst UN officials report it is likely the coronavirus will claim at least 300,000 lives and push nearly 30 million into poverty across the continent. Information taken from BBC report to date over 75,000 confirmed cases and 2500 deaths to date.

The initial low numbers from the continent can be attributed to the small proportion of the population who travel, Africa have fewer people who travel internationally. But now the virus is taking its grip on African nations and, given it’s fast-spreading nature, it is assumed to be spreading rapidly.

In-country conflicts are raising, as officers are enforcing strict measures aimed at keeping public places clear to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But the fundamental need for families to earn an income to feed themselves and afford basic amenities is creating a severely desperate situation for thousands. The balance between human rights and protecting society as a whole from the virus pose difficult realities.

Africa faces huge challenges with multiple issues that adversely affect public health

The situation of access to clean water and sanitation in rural Africa is even more dismal than the previous statistics imply. More than a third of Africa’s population lacks access to adequate water supplies. Many communities have been without safe water for years and rely on contaminated sources for their daily needs.

People exposed to air pollution are more likely to due from COVID-19 than people living in areas with clean air. Across the African continent this is on grave concern, as air pollution levels often far exceed WHO guidelines. The predominant cooking technology throughout communities is open three-stone fires, often used in an enclosed cooking space indoors.  The smoke produced from cooking causes significant indoor air pollution entire families are exposed to.

We specialise in Safe Water and Improved Cookstoves Projects – which alongside reducing carbon emissions, promote an array of socio-economic benefits whilst align with the wider SDGs. Our projects are now more than ever, having a vital impact on safeguarding the health and welfare of the communities we work with across Africa.

We cannot thank our in-country partners enough for their dedication and commitment to creating COVID-19 sensitive strategies to ensure project activities can continue whilst meeting national guidelines. Now more than ever providing clean water and providing training and facilities for WASH practices, specifically hand-washing, is essential.

If you would like more information on offsetting your carbon footprint through environmentally and socially responsible projects, please do get in touch with us at enquiries@co2balance.com.

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