Takaitei. Harare, Zimbabwe

Communication Focal Person, ActionAid Zimbabwe

“Zimbabwe has been in lockdown for 6 weeks extended for the 3rd time from initial 21 days. The government has eased the lockdown with food industry, manufacturing, large firms, government buses allowed to operate. The small-scale and informal sector is not allowed to operate with compulsory wearing of face masks in public spaces and at the work places imposed. In Zimbabwe, the economy is largely driven by the smallholder and informal sectors run by women and the youths who are the majority and most vulnerable. Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 with four deaths and 34 cases as at 1 May and very little testing due to lack of resources, the country was already facing a food crisis with close to 8.8 million people, which is more than half the population of the country being food insecure. Zimbabwe is facing a multidimensional crisis of socio-economic nature with high levels of poverty and a collupsed health delivery system. People living in poverty cannot afford to be in lockdown as they live from hand to mouth. Working from home has become virtually impossible for women who face the burden of unpaid care work such as cooking and looking after children who are not going to school. Being a married woman, a mother of a 13 year old girl, working form home has affected my work performance as I have had to juggle with unpaid care wok and doing my work. In addition, poor connectivity is making it difficult for me to attend the online meetings which is the new way of working”.