Action Aid Zambia Country Director Ms. Nalucha Nganga-Ziba’s speech for the official flag off of distribution of covid 19 materials
COUNTRY DIRECTOR’S SPEECH FOR THE OFFICIAL FLAG OFF OF DISTRIBUTION OF COVID 19 MATERIALS
The Permanent Secretary – Ministry of Information
The Representative- Ministry of Gender
The Representative- Ministry of Health
The Representative- Ministry of Local Government
The Representative- Zambia National Public Health Institute
The Executive Director- Isanitize Zambia
Our Cooperating Partners
Ladies and Gentlemen,
By Ms. Nalucha Nganga-Ziba – Action Aid Zambia Country Director
I AM very honoured to host you all here today to witness the official flag off of the distribution of COVID 19 materials and supplies.
As we all now know, COVID-19 has turned into a global crisis, evolving at unprecedented speed and scale. Zambia recorded its first two cases of Corona virus on the 18th of March 2020 and as at 19th August 2020, Zambia recorded more than ten thousand Covid-19 confirmed cases with 269 deaths.
The COVID-19 pandemic is not only a health crisis but also a socioeconomic crisis. Covid-19 has already disrupted individual livelihoods, businesses, industries and economic systems not only in Zambia but across the world.
The crises continue to deepen the vulnerabilities of people and we note that this is especially worse for women. It is well known that women are first responders in any crises.
A crisis like this one has increased the burden of care for women as they are expected to be care- givers to the sick, teachers to their children who are no longer going to school among many other things. We also note that women are usually side-lined from the decision- making spaces.
Many women may have heard about what actions are being undertaken by government and other supporting institutions on COVID 19 but are not consulted or involved in these actions.
It is for this reason that AAZ engaged with the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) to support a women- led humanitarian response in 6 districts namely Chipata, Choma, Kalumbila, Nakonde, Mongu and Lusaka.
The focus of this response is to:
• Support women and youth engagements in their response to COVID 19.
• Enhance women- led response and protection programming
• Ensure accountability and transparency in the COVID 19 response in communities.
To support this response, ActionAid Zambia has signed 5 MOUs with community radio stations namely
1. Breeze FM- Chipata
2. Chete FM- Nakonde
3. Choma Mannu – Choma
4. Radio Lyambai – Mongu
5. Radio Kabangabanga – Solwezi/ Kalumbila
ActionAid Zambia has also been working with radio stations in Lusaka namely Phoenix FM and ZNBC Radio 2 to ensure that there is continued sensitization of communities with correct information on Covid 19, Hygiene and sanitation, Gender – Based Violence and Sexual Reproductive and Health Rights.
On a similar note, we envision to reach in total 3000 households through community information sharing sessions in the targeted districts.
This will be done in collaboration with the Victim Support Unit and other stakeholders in the districts.
It will also interest you to note that in this response, ActionAid Zambia will support, 2400 women marketeers in each district with dignity kits so as to help lessen their burden because of limited financial resources. This kit will comprise a 10-litre bucket, mask, Hand – sanitizer and a packet of sanitary towels.
12 mother’s shelters and 12 youth friendly spaces in the target districts are also going to benefit with support in terms of hand- washing basins, soaps, masks and hand sanitizers to enable them run their services smoothly in the “new normal”
As an organization that practices the Human – Based Approach for which empowerment is very cardinal, capacity building will form a very integral part of our response. ActionAid Zambia will hold capacity building activities for women leaders in Neighbourhood Health Communities, Ward Development Committees and other women groups to promote the spirit of accountability and transparency; and prudent utilization of the Covid-19 donations.
ActionAid Zambia will continue to engage with relevant departments and line ministries in the target districts to ensure that the materials reach the intended targets.
We therefore implore you as Ministries represented here to support the officers on the ground to ensure concerted efforts in the fight against Covid 19.
ActionAid Zambia will work with like- minded organizations and local groups such as iSanitise and Muchinga corridors to ensure localised responses and draw on their expertise and strengths.
At this moment allow me to make quick mention of other actions that ActionAid Zambia will embark on in response to the Covid 19 aside this SIDA funded venture;
1. ActionAid Zambia will be distributing 700 dignity kits to women marketeers in Nalolo District
2. ActionAid Zambia will be supporting 4000 children with food humpers in Mpika, Nakonde, Nalolo Mpulungu, Mbala and Sesheke districts.
3. ActionAid Zambia will also support the establishment of seedbanks in Nalolo district, Support 100 contact farmers with trainings and support them with bags of indigenous seeds.
All of this is planned to take place in the next few months.
In conclusion, I would like to assure the government that our role is to compliment government efforts in response to the COVID pandemic therefore, we will continue to engage our cooperating partners, government, the media and communities in our Covid-19 response.
To our all-weather friend; the Swedish Embassy, we cannot thank you enough to your never-ending support. To our frontline health workers, we salute you and we treasure your selfless efforts.
To the rest of us; let us stay alert; let us keep physical social distance and let us always remember to wash our hands frequently, sanitize and mask up.
With these few remarks I now officially flag off the distribution of COVID19 materials. – Ms. Nalucha Nganga-Ziba Action Aid Zambia Country Director