In all of VNG International’s projects and activities, adaptations to face the Corona virus are pertinent. Also in Burundi, which has yet to deal with its first case of Corona, local authorities are the ‘first responders’. The association of municipalities ABELO is facing the issue head-first, with support of the IDEAL programme.
In order to continue and adapt the activities in the country, VNG International has entered into discussions with ABELO, the Association of Municipalities in Burundi, on how to improve the sanitation, hygiene and social distancing in and outside of our programme activities.
Last week, ABELO organised the annual Journée des Municipalities, the Day of the Municipalities, with the support of VNG International. (This day was held before a national advisory against large gatherings was active in the country.)
ABELO collaborated with the Ministry of Health to provide adequate instructions to the participants of the 119 municipalities on how to prevent spreading the disease, as well as instructing them on how to use this knowledge in their own respective municipalities.
In every society, greeting rituals are very hard to change, like hand-shaking and embraces, which are very important in Burundian culture. We are therefore working to develop appropriate communications on social distancing in the Burundian context. Moreover, hand-washing stations are installed at the ABELO offices, and proper guidance in their use is provided.
Together with ABELO we are supporting the administrators with informing and helping their citizens to protect themselves, their friends, relatives and co-workers.
We continue to look for ways to adapt our programming and assist the Burundian municipalities during this global health challenge.