A glimpse into Cape Towns unstable communities during this pandemic
Updated: Apr 15, 2020
With many of us unable to surf for weeks, possibly months now is also a great time to reflect on how we often take so many freedoms for granted; To realize how lucky many of us are to have easy, free, unlimited access to surfing. Many of the children in our program and around the world aren't this lucky...
Living conditions in Khayelitsha (first town ship with cases) , put lightly, are very rough, close proximity housing (shacks), poor sanitation and overcrowding.
Although the country is under a 31 day lockdown, people are not exactly staying indoors. Imagine living with 5-10 people in an aluminum shack, (around 200 sq.ft!) with no bathroom
Much of the lockdown is being enforced by military power, which is a far cry from the restrictions being placed in the US which are (for now) much less oppressive. Many citizens around all of Africa fear more from police violence/brutality and domestic violence than the virus itself.
Health wise, many people in the townships have always struggled with Malnutrition, Tuberculosis and HIV. Today 7.7 million people in South Africa live with HIV and immune compromised people are more susceptible to severe complications from the virus.
Misinformation leads to more panic and less rational decisions, furthering all the problems.
There are also lots of misconceptions that Covid-19 only affects “the rich, the ones that fly around the world”and that this is some sort of biblical plague, with no scientific cause.
Education and awareness on the virus and how it is actually spread is critical, as well as how to behave under these circumstances. These times are also when news and media outlets are tested, as information now spreads faster than any virus.
There is just simply so much information being put out, some true, some false, and people struggle to discern the two.
Now, practicing proper hygiene is easier said than done when people are having to share porta-potty like bathrooms with hundreds of others, live in overcrowded communities and homes.
It scares me to think about the condition millions of people in Cape Town alone are currently living in, let alone the rest of Africa.
On the brighter side there are some amazing organizations such as 9Miles Project making a difference every day! 9Miles Project sets up 4 feeding kitchens amongst the communities of Strandfontein. Aside from feeding the children and families of the community, they are educating them-giving updates on how to keep clean, safe and healthy.
Everyone is fed in stages, children followed by adults. They all line up 1 meter apart, given hand sanitizer, briefed on covid-19 before receiving a bowl of hot food.
We will be working with 9Miles to help them keep this operation running as long as need be.
These are the times we come to together and show what we are truly made of and support one another.
It is easy to get down or be overwhelmed by all the negativity, but there are still many organizations and people staying strong through this pandemic.
We support and respect everyone of them, and would like to say thank you to all, as we continue doing all that we can to help keep everyone healthy and well fed.