By Bertha Muzvidzwa
LEAD National Womens Council Executive Secretary General.
Women in Zimbabwe bear the brunt of sourcing water and income for the survival of the family in most cases.
That said, the spread of Covid19, which has enforced lock downs in most countries to slow the spread and stop new infections has come with it a new set of problems for the average Zimbabwean woman.
Since everything is political in the truest sense, then a need has arisen for the female leader who has a following that looks up to her for guidance.
How can one lead in utter crisis and the unknown reality of tomorrow? This is the question that has offset the labor pains, and hopefully a re-birth of the masses upon the completion of reading this two minute read.
Social distancing amidst a water crisis
Picture this; The hive of activity at the local water source as usual, with queued up buckets and containers and everyone maintaining a 2 metre social distancing from each other as advised by World Health Organisation.
Yet, everyone takes turns to touch the pump or hosepipe as they pour in the water. Covid19 is a virus that can survive on surfaces for hours? This begs the question – as containers are carried into the home, gates locked and people stay in lockdown.
The only difference now is we have locked in with us too. There is need for local leadership to educate communities fetching water on prevention measures, and to support them in this crisis.
As a party we are still insisting that the local authorities should ensure that solar pumps are in place at every borehole and to put at least 30 gaps of water to draw water from every borehole in Zimbabwe.
Locked down with the abuser
Not every home is a happy one. As it is, someone right now is going through assault from their spouse and there is no support system.
A child is being raped and unable to report for fear of being reprimanded by officials manning the streets. There is a bigger threat than Covid19 yet nowhere to turn to because domestic violence has not been considered with the seriousness it disserves during the lock down.
Sexual Favours for Crisis Assistance
Much research has already been carried out on how perpetrators use times of crisis to lure victims and keep the cycle of sex for survival thriving over the years.
With many myths already circulating on Covid19, shortage of basic food stuffs, as well as general fear, women and children stand vulnerable to abuse.
Accountability and transparency in the distribution of medications and funds to the Zimbabwean community must be adhered to by every peace loving Zimbabwean.
Mental wellness and self-awareness
It is easy to lose one’s mind when closed in and have no control of what is happening.
The very human resource that is the creative imagination required for survival is threatened by anxious thoughts and fear of the unknown during the lockdown and the Covid19 crisis. Do we have organizations with the mandate to support mental wellness been able to reach suffering audiences?
The partnership of organizations and influencers whose areas of expertise may be used during this crisis period are urgently required.
We applaud due diligence made by international organizations in assisting communities battle Covid19. However, we cannot stop there, it is time for individuals to do their bit in ensuring correct information and positive attitudes as a country to win this fight.