Amadiba Crisis Committee Press Statement: Hand sanitiser roll out in “Xolobeni” on the Wild Coast continues, even to our clinics.

Today Thursday, ACC continued to distribute hand sanitisers and protective masks to the villages on the Amadiba coast in Mbizana, Eastern Cape.

ACC will try to cover the whole of Amadiba if we get more support. As ACC, we send our warm thanks to donors and to “The Middleman” shop in Port Edward. The owner has followed the rule not to increase prices or profiteer from this crisis, but to make a contribution to the national effort.

The ACC roll out of equipment followed after four information meetings about the Corona virus in the villages on 19, 20, 21 and 23 March.

As ACC, we are not aware of any activity organised by the Mbizana Local Municipality. Today, we also distributed hand sanitisers to two clinics, the Amadiba and Mgungu clinics.

If our brave nurses in Amadiba get sick, the whole community is in deep trouble. They have to be protected at all costs.

We learned from the past that HIV and AIDS affected the rural areas a lot, because of lack of information. Information gets stuck in the suburbs. That is why we as ACC this time has decided not to repeat history.

As ACC, we request from government to clarify that one size does not fit all. The State of Disaster rules in a rural area like ours must be changed.

Right now, people are scared to be arrested if they go out. But you can’t stay inside houses in a rural area. We take care of livestock and do farming to stay food secure. When we fish in the ocean, we meet no one. To meet no one is safe.

As ACC, we hereby apply for a permit from our government that our community is allowed to do small scale farming and fishing in Amadiba.

It is easier to keep distance to other people outside in the open than with all sitting inside in one rondavel. If the police understand the purpose of the lockdown, they will understand this. Surely, they know this is not Durban. 

If family members are coming home from cities, the right thing to do is that they isolate. This is not impossible. Our homesteads usually have several houses.

People in Amadiba are scared to go out for no good reason. But today we had tourists from Durban fishing on the coast in Mdatya. How did they pass the provincial road block at Mtamvuna river?! To compare, the ACC car that transports medical supplies sourced in Port Edward, got stuck for two hours on Tuesday at the road block at Mtamvuna on its way back.

President Ramaphosa has strongly argued that “all must put their hands together”. As ACC, we are doing this. It is however difficult to work on the ground if the government starts to enforce the law before informing people, and if some laws cannot be followed. We are a very unequal society. One size does not fit all. All human beings must eat.

The truth is that our government acted too late and then panicked. The government was not updated about this illness spreading from China. There was nothing about Corona virus in the President’s SONA speech on 14 February.


Amadiba Crisis Committee:

Spokesperson: Nonhle Mbuthuma 0763592982 Chairperson: Sbusiso Mqadi 0634964074

Visit Amadiba Crisis Committee on Facebook

This statement first appeared on Amadiba Crisis Committee’s Facebook page on 2 April 2020.

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