The impact of COVID-19 in South Africa has been particularly dire. One region that has been significantly affected by the pandemic is the Nelson Mandela Bay City region in the Eastern Cape.
The impact on economic development, health, and community life across the city has been unprecedented, and has worsened hardships faced by already vulnerable communities. This led to an urgent call for collaborative responses by private, public and community stakeholders.
To support the efforts, NatuReS South Africa partnered with the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber (NMBBC) under the umbrella of the “Nelson Mandela Bay Stewardship Partnership Initiative”. They launched various awareness campaigns that promote behavioural change at a community level. This includes implementing education programmes for schools and communities, and community-based healthcare facilities on good Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) principles, especially hand washing and social distancing behaviour.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) and water was distributed to vulnerable communities.
For vulnerable communities and schools:
– 1158 Surgical Masks
– 814 5-litre bottles of sanitiser
– 4883 5-litre bottles of water
For healthcare facilities:
– 42 boxes of gloves
– 1483 gowns
Additionally, community engagement workshops as well as media-, radio- and poster campaigns in local languages took place. An extensive school PPE and COVID-19 awareness campaign is currently being developed to ensure safe reopening of schools. Further measures include educating community healthcare workers on safe waste disposal of used COVID-19 testing kits at local clinics. Through the Chamber’s leading role, these actions directly feed into the Nelson Mandela Bay City Command Council’s emergency response to COVID-19.