C2M2 Project in Bukavu
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has faced multiple epidemics during the last 10 years, including Ebola, that caused many fatalities. Building from that experience, many mayors have established programs to improve the resiliency of their cities. The goal is to be better prepared to manage first and second order impacts of pandemics like COVID-19. Since March 2020, the country has experienced a rise in COVID-19 cases. Given the limited resources on both the national and local levels, the DRC has not been able to build the necessary screening capacity to better identify and report on COVID-19 cases and December 2020 has only made that a more pressing issue.
Both the central and local governments in the DRC have set policies relating to preventive measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 early into the pandemic. Now as Bukavu approaches its second wave, the city has registered 391 positive cases from which 73 % are males, 27 % females, and 0% children, and a total of 21 deaths were registered. The most vulnerable population groups in the city include:
- Patients with chronic and metabolic diseases
- Elderly people
- Medical and paramedical staff incl. nurses and doctors
- Pharmacists and laboratory technicians
- Travelers and people working in highly frequented public places
- Rural communities in areas surrounding the city.
The case for analyzing 2nd order impact of COVID-19 in Bukavu
The imposed lockdown early in March 2020 had a significant impact on education and the local economy. The implemented closure of schools for more than 5 months to reduce the spread of COVID-19 impacted the education sector in different ways including:
- Lack of motivation in teachers and learners
- Inability or inaccessibility to partake in distanced learning for the majority of the population due to limited finances
- Lack of access to power making it difficult to take advantage of implemented distanced learning solutions in some schools
- Loss of jobs for many teachers
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bukavu has seen significant impacts in terms of economic development and social relations between the urban and surrounding