Covid-19 exposes information gap between urban and rural areas

Chinhoyi (New Ziana) -Many people in rural areas and on farms throughout the country risk contracting the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) as they do not have adequate information on recommended ways of preventing the deadly disease.

A survey by New Ziana in some outlying areas of Mashonaland West province such as Doma, Barrad, Shipredge, Highbury and others exposed the information gap that exists between urban and rural areas that could be adversely hampering government efforts to fight the pandemic.

To most villagers, wearing a face mask or social distancing are a new phenomenon which they only practice when they visit clinics or are travelling somewhere as they have not been properly educated on the reasons for following the health guidelines and regulations.

People gather at shopping centres where there is a hive of activity from beer drinking, playing pool and other games without wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

In most farm compounds, a few people own televisions while the majority rely on the radio for information and entertainment.

People take turns to brew the illicit opaque beer, commonly known as ChiOne Day, which is sold at homesteads where imbibers would be sitting close to each other chatting as though everything was normal.

Asked about the government and World Health Organisation regulations and guidelines on Covid 19, the majority professed ignorance about the nationwide lockdown and ways to prevent the disease.

A farm worker, Nomatter Karima who resides at Longvalley farm compound, said they only accessed information from the radio but sometimes they did not understand the language used while at times there was no electricity.

“Nyaya dzeCovid tinongodzinzwa pamawairesi chete (We only hear issues about Covid-19 on the radio). Kuno tinoteerera zvirongwa asi nyaya yekuti pamwe panoshandiswa chirungu pamwe vanotaura vachimhanya ende wairesi inoda moto saka totomborara tisina kuteerera wairesi nekushaya kwekuchargisa mabattery (Here we listen to the radio but the fact that sometimes they use English or they talk fast and also the radios need power but sometimes there no electricity to charge batteries)”.

Another farm worker Talent Koga urged the authorities to also put posters with information about the disease in compounds and not just at clinics and Growth Points.

New Ziana

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