Supporting Senegalese communities in response to COVID-19
Actis Acts committed US$52,000 to Azura Power, a developer of Independent Power Plants (IPPs) across Africa, to support communities in Taiba N’Diaye in the fight against COVID-19 and to build greater resilience to deal with future crises.
COVID-19 is an unprecedented global challenge but, like many crises, the most impoverished are disproportionately affected. The communities around the Tobene power plant are highly vulnerable and ill equipped to cope with an outbreak in the local region. While only a few cases have been recorded to date, prevention is essential as controlling the spread and treating the patients will be an enormous challenge and other associated problems, such as famine, are likely in a agriculturally dependent community.
Communities in Taiba N’Diaye are not only susceptible to health crises but also to changing weather patterns, due to basic living conditions and dependency on seasonal agriculture for food and income.
As well as supporting against COVID-19, the project will enhance general hygiene practices and address vulnerability as a result of relative isolation and dependency on seasonal agriculture.
The project Actis Actis is funding is raising awareness about COVID-19 and good hygienic practices and behaviours to adopt to protect oneself, for example soap washing stations in key areas and in front of every house helps to reduce the spread and also other illnesses. The aim is to continue after COVID-19 by creating a new habit of washing hands before you walk into the house.
The project focuses on women and young people, providing skills and tools to increase their revenue and diversify beyond agriculture.
Other initiatives include:
- Teaching women and young people how to manufacture soap using local products, and then to package, market and sell it, skills that will endure beyond the project
- Providing income generating activities all year long, for example selling products such as body cream
- Raising awareness of the importance of hygiene and health through radio and print campaigns
- Establishing a tailor association for the local community to make masks for local communities and the fire brigade. There were previously 3,500 masks (of which only 500 are regulated) for a community of over 28,000 people. There is also potential to make uniforms for Tobene Power employees instead of importing them
- Providing handwash stations with thermometers in key public areas, such as markets, health centres and schools and in front of houses
- Providing food supplies for 350 of the most highly vulnerable households
- Involving young people and women in the fight against COVID-19 by including them in decision making and a strategic stakeholder engagement