Two interesting new sets of polling data have recently come out about pandemic response in Kenya (from the Population Council) and Senegal (from the Center for Global Development). Here are some key points.
83% of people knew that fever was a symptom of the disease, but only 52% knew that coughing also was
85% of people said they’re staying home more than they usually do, but 79% had left the house at least once in the last day (likely for work or shopping)
76% of people say they’re washing their hands 7 times per day or more
36% of people have lost all their income and 45% of people have lost some of their income in the last two weeks (81% of total sample)
68% of people say they’ve had to reduce their food intake
Only 7% of people have received any assistance
Most of the assistance provided came from NGOs or the business community, and was largely soap (72%) and food (40%)
The people receiving assistance often did not report that they had been skipping meals, suggesting that the most vulnerable people aren’t being helped
Almost everyone had heard of coronavirus, and 90% of people said they had stopped attending services at their mosque due to the lockdown
72% of people supported a continued lockdown, although support is lower among people who’ve lost some of their income
85% of people report having lost some or all of their income
Over 33% are skipping meals
45% of people say that food prices have increased
The population of Dakar has decreased by 5% as people flee to rural areas
Here’s the latest edition of Africa Update. I’m going to guarantee you a nearly coronavirus-free edition, because I collect links for the newsletter over the course of roughly a month and can’t put it out fast enough to keep up with the pandemic news. So here are some other notable things that have been happening recently, plus a few coronavirus links covering underdiscussed aspects of the crisis.
Economics: By joining the proposed new eco zone, West African countries might give up control over their currencies in ways that are bad for growth. Dollar Street is a fascinating new project which shows how families all around the world, including many in Africa, live on different levels of income. In Uganda, big infrastructure projects have benefited foreign investors while sometimes literally walling off local communities from accessing them.
Coronavirus: Meet the leader of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, who’s dramatically scaled up public health capacity across the country after just two years in office. One important lesson from the Ebola epidemic in Liberia is that door-to-door canvassing makes people more likely to comply with public health rules. Research in Sierra Leone during the Ebola epidemic shows that governments are likely to see much lower tax revenues as economic activity drops. In East Africa, coronavirus has driven gambling revenues down by 99% as people save their money for immediate needs. Here’s a great list of articles on the pandemic from African authors.
Here’s the latest edition of Africa Update! We’ve got 1.4 million resumes to review in Nigeria, the (possible) end of tsetse flies, Kenya’s first online archive of LGBT+ life, anti-colonial acronyms, and more.
Environment & resources: Climate change is almost uniformly a bad thing, but one possible exception is that rising temperatures might kill off the tsetse fly and end the spread of sleeping sickness across Africa. In Uganda, people in gold mining communities are being poisoned by the mercury used to refine the gold. The DRC’s long-delayed Inga III mega-dam project has just been pushed further down the road with disputes among the major contractors about the dam’s design.
Welcome to the latest edition of Africa Update! We’ve got the competitive rollerbladers of eastern DRC, the Nairobi governor’s prison break, African women on boards, the health threats of kids’ facepaint in Uganda, and more.
Here’s the latest edition of Africa Update. We’ve got Kenya’s first all-female motorcycle gang, pigs on ARVs in Uganda, religious leaders reducing violence against women in the DRC, the rise of the African literary festival, and more.
East Africa: This was a really moving piece on the lived experience of displacement in South Sudan, where roughly 40% of the population is displaced after years of war. Sudan has just opened its first women’s football league. I just learned that many Kenyan ethnic groups didn’t bury the dead until the colonial era, when the British decided that burials signified an ancestral connection that could be used to make claims on land. A teenaged Kenyan chess champion can’t compete in international competitions because she doesn’t have a birth certificate, and thus can’t get a passport. “By law, every student in Eritrea must spend their final year of high school at the Warsai Yikealo Secondary School … [which] is inside a military camp.”