Everyone in the world is being impacted in some way by the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). These are challenging times for everyone. Recently, we shared DAG’s response to the evolving situation, and we would like to share a few initiatives that the communities have been busy with. DAG’s main purpose is to ensure sure that communities are aware and well-informed around COVID-19, social distancing and the importance of basic hygiene. As an organisation that advocates for community-led development, the DAG staff and Board are working tirelessly behind the scenes, supporting around 50 communities across the western cape both for short and long term relief.
- DAG and various leaders from community organisations are taking critical steps to identify households with high vulnerability. Utilising our enumeration and profiling data, we are determining elderly and single-headed households that are more like to face severe impacts of COVID-19;
- Utilising this data, working with community leaders, we are targeting relief and efforts to such vulnerable households including connecting them to food parcels, sanitisers, soaps etc. Where the relief organisations are unable to reach, DAG is using its own resources to make essential supplies available;
- One such need that has been identified in secondary municipalities, is the dire shortfall of protective gear. In this regard, we are supporting communities across the Western Cape to manufacture their own protective gear, particularly masks;
- Over the next few weeks, access to food is going to become a huge priority. As a consequence, we are working closely with organisations involved in food relief, to ensure that rural informal settlement and backyard communities continue to have access to food;
- Utilising maps and GIS data, supporting community leaders identify spaces for the provision of toilets and taps and other essential services, particularly in Mossel Bay;
- Coordinating efforts with several other organisations working both nationally and within the Western Cape. This includes preparing the list of all community leaders and representatives that are responsible for managing relief efforts. The database in central in raising awareness and also feed critical grassroots information to various relief and government institutions.
- Whilst these relief efforts continue, we are working with select partner organisations to develop thinking around the long terms solutions for informal settlements and backyarding. This goes beyond the current de-densification but looks at incremental and expedient upgrading of informal settlements and backyard.
We are amazed by the overwhelming response from the community leaders and individuals from communities in Cape Town. Shout out to the Gatesville Tenants Committee who have shown an amazing initiative by using the little relief money they received from DAG to make packs with homemade hand sanitizers, masks, dishwashing liquid, tissues, face soap and green bar soap for 40 Gatesville community seniors who are old live on one income and have to take care of 10+ family members.
Check out some of the amazing community initiatives…