The protection of our children and our families is absolutely critical, particularly during the 21 day national lockdown, just announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa. We appreciate that from midnight on Thursday 26 March it will be really tough for a lot of our communities who are already experiencing difficulties, now that the schools are closed and many families are experiencing financial difficulties.
Additional COVID-19 Resources: http://sacoronavirus.co.za
Update from Unathi Sihlahla and Janet Ogilvie heading up our SA team. Our INMED South Africa teams have been hard at work during lockdown ensuring all our sites and communities have support. Here are just some of the activities we have been busy with.
For our Health in Action program, we needed to suspend all of our field activities for the program, allowing our team to work remotely, where they are capturing data for our baseline and developing a new program of materials better suited for the kids at this time. This has not meant that we have stopped focusing on the food production side of our programme.
In Soweto, our INMED Aquaponics system is managed by a local cooperative made up of six members. Fortunately, two of them are local residents and live very close to our site. They take turns feeding the fish twice daily and on Fridays they share feedback with the rest of the members. Prior to the lockdown, we delivered fish feed to all of our sites, including Soweto, to minimise any disruption during the lockdown. On a regular basis, the cooperative donates produce to a nearby orphanage called Golden Ark, to Vezokuhle Primary (until just before closing of schools) as well as to five disadvantaged households nearby.
In Orange Farm, we issued permits to one of our team members who resides in the area and looks after our aquaponics in that area. In Port Elizabeth, just before the lockdown, we had just brought in new fish stock and planted a new crop of vegetables, which is not yet ready for harvest. We therefore made arrangements with the university to grant access to our team members to look after the site during lockdown, feeding fish and attending to any issues needing attention on site. We also made similar arrangements for our sites in Graaff-Reinet.
We have fortunately not experienced any challenges at any of these sites so far.
For our Adaptive Agriculture Program, we decided to suspend all our direct training programs until the new regulations have been lifted. However, our team in the Free State continues to provide on-the-ground support to ensure that all systems are productive during this time. We delivered fish feed and all other items we felt may be needed to keep our systems operating throughout the lockdown. We also issued permits to our technical team in Johannesburg, allowing them to travel to sites when needed to provide support. Members of the cooperatives have been sensitised about the new working arrangements.
To allow movement and continued support to our projects, we are now certified as an essential service business during the lockdown period. This allows our field team to visit projects for oversight and provide support where need be. To sensitise our communities about the virus, we have also developed the following materials on COVID-19 which are shared through social media and whatsapp.
We will be constantly updating this resource page to provide you with useful information you can use and to keep you updated on the latest information on the coronavirus.
Please also follow our social pages on useful hints and tips for keeping you safe.
Companies that are essential to the production and transportation of food, basic goods and medical supplies will remain open during the 21 day lockdown. This means that INMED South Africa have taken special care to ensure that all aquaponics sites throughout the country are overseen during this period in partnership with our existing funders and some of the schools. It is critical that our fish are fed during this time and the seedlings and produce are managed on a weekly basis. Local resources have been assigned in each area. It is relevant to note that these people live in the area and will not have to access public transport and place themselves at risk.
Fish food has been delivered to all of these sites and plans are being managed to distribute food, where possible to the nearby communities. INMED SA staff will be on call in each region to manage any emergencies.
Amid all of the physical disruptions caused by the global spread of COVID-19, threats in cyberspace are an important, often overlooked aspect. There is also a lot of fake news doing the rounds. Only access information that is from a reliable source.
Find the latest information from WHO on where COVID-19 is spreading:
Advice and guidance from WHO on COVID-19:
Call centres and hotlines:
Preventing the spread of COVID-19
How to make your own hand sanitizer at home:
300 ml water
30 ml vinegar
30 ml lemon juice
30 ml sunlight liquid
20 ml Antiseptic liquid disinfectant
Use in spray bottle
Add 2 drops of bleach per litre of water and allow to stand for 30 minutes before use
Google Fit worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Heart Association (AHA) to bring you two new activity goals that can help improve your health: Move Minutes and Heart Points http://andauth.co/googlefit
MyFitnessPal: Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, get healthy, change your habits, or start a new diet MyFitnessPal has you covered https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.myfitnesspal.android
Here is how to eat healthy on a budget. It’s so easy to make incorrect food choices when you are hungry, and even more so when you are strapped for cash. Often we end up eating unhealthy processed foods purely because we don’t plan properly.
How to help if a family member is feeling anxious or depressed
Teach your children these habits to keep them flu-free this winter