IturiThe current situation of the corona virus pandemic remains both in Bunia environment and at the VNG International at Bunia office. COVID-19 has changed the way of life and behavior of the past for everyone in the office, in particular by wearing a mask, regular hand washing, the use of alcoholic gel, greeting from a distance, and physical distancing between colleagues.

The prevention against this pandemic is very visible especially as the ancient African cultures (greeting by hand and so many others…) are disappearing in behavior.

The work is progressing as it should and in compliance with the barrier measures decreed by the World Health Organization and the Government, both national and provincial. Everyone, as far as they are concerned, remains in the perspective of the fight against COVID-19 and remains modeled so as not to be a vector of this pandemic.

Already before the corona virus pandemic was declared in Bunia town, the Province of Ituri had just been confronted by the Ebola virus disease which had caused several deaths.

Thus, the adaptation to the supposedly complicated and complex lifestyle as well as the restriction linked to the health crisis did not negate working life, especially since almost the same measures for Ebola were applied to COVID-19.

But unfortunately, some binding restrictive remain difficult to adopt, both for staff and visitors to our office such as the obligation to wear masks for some, the regular hand washing, temperature measurement, greeting by the elbow, sneezing in the elbow and so on.

Since the President of the Republic message dated on march 18, 2020 on the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been several legal and regulatory texts on barrier measures against the corona virus, texts drawn up either by the Ministries of the Interior and Public Health or either by the Governor of the Province, all in the sense of reinforcing the measures of restrictions and obligations as well as those of prevention.

In the various texts, we note for example:

  • The ban on the organization of sports or mass activities in stadiums and other places of gathering, in particular markets, churches, party halls, restaurants, offices, schools, universities, public transport (bus, lorry, plane…) and others.
  • The obligation to wear a mask for everyone in public or private places where there is more than one person, disinfection of equipment and premises, social distancing of one meter;
  • The prevention against the corona virus such as regular hand washing with soap/ ash, temperature measurement, use of alcoholic gel, social distancing of one meter, disinfection of equipment and premises and wearing of masks.

Finally, all these coordinated texts are only set up for the protection and well being of the population as well as the fight against the spread of this pandemic.

On this day, VNG International has not encountered any difficulties in the implementation of its projects, and is in the midst of launching its new projects, in particular the first project “Together for Security and Peace in Djugu (ESPAD) and the second “Together for Security and Peace in the Eastern of Democratic Republic of Congo (ESPER) with the involvement of state and no-state actors.

But the province is confronted in some places by the activism of some armed groups, such as CODECO, FRPI, FPIC, Zaire, Mai Simba, ADF, etc.

Mitigation measures established by the Programme Coordinator for the implementation of the projects are already in place and manage at the office level.

VNG International with the Consortium members (Cordaid, FOMI and Justice Plus) of the State authority restoration launched on October 6, 2020, the Together for Security and Peace project in Djugu, ESPAD in acronym and the presentation to the provincial authorities dated November 04, 2020, the Together for Security and Peace in Eastern of DRC project, ESPER in acronym consisting of VNGI consortium as Lead and Cordaid.

In short, the provincial coordination of VNG International in Ituri is in the midst of the start-up phase of its various projects.

The Province of Ituri has a cumulative total of 174 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 56 recovered and 7 deaths. However, most of the social layers do not believe in the existence of this pandemic due to the ignorance and local culture, and this is observed in markets and certain public places, except the professional and school world perpetuate the prevention and fight against the corona virus in their respective facilities.

Mr. Jean-Paul Soroba Banga – Programme Coordinator