Community members from Bikita have expressed concern over the laxity of COVID 19 regulations in Bikita which has seen some community members not wearing facemasks and not adhering to COVID 19 measures at business centres. This came out during a Virtual Information Centres (VIC’s) dialogue meeting organised by communities working with Heal Zimbabwe from Bikita.
Community members highlighted that since the easing of lockdown measures two weeks ago by Cabinet, there was now an increase in the number of people at shopping centres who do not wear face masks. Added to this, community members also reported that law enforcement agents who at the height of the lockdown period were enforcing lock down measures have since stopped patrols at business centres. The dialogue meeting further noted that given the poor health infrastructure in local communities, a fresh wave of COVID 19 infections was likely to have devastating effects. Other issues that came out during the dialogue include the lack of dipping chemicals for livestock which has seen an increase in livestock deaths.
As part of resolutions, duty bearers (Councillors and Traditional leaders) were tasked to engage the local police so that they can resume patrols at business centres as a way of preventing the spread of COVID 19.Community members were also encouraged to continue raising awareness on COVID 19 and ensure that hygiene is practiced at all water points.
The VIC’s created by communities working with Heal Zimbabwe comprise of various stakeholders at the local level such as Village Development Committees (VIDCOs), Ward Development Committees (WADCOs), and Councillors, Traditional leaders, School Development Committees (SDCs), Health committees and other various stakeholders. The information centers also equip communities with relevant information on COVID 19 by bringing in specialised personnel such as Ministry of Health representatives and survivors of COVID-19 among others to educate communities on COVID 19.Virtual information centers are also platforms that facilitate local level conversations on pertinent issues affecting communities as well as create socially cohesive communities.
Source: Heal Zimbabwe