Corona – voices from Addis Abeba

The Corona virus has arrived in Africa. Millions of people, many of them poor, live in megacities, often in crowded neighbourhoods and are searching every day to make a living. In order to earn 20 Birr or 100 Shillings people need to reach a working place far from their place of living or they need to sell small items in the street, chewing gums, cigarettes or toilet paper. Others need to clean and polish shoes. Washing hands with soap or keeping physical distance become huge challenges.

We are in contact with Y., a friend from our previous times in Addis Abeba. As a Tour Operator he suffers a lot from the collapse of tourism. He agreed that we share with you his testimony:

“The globe is under the influence of the virus. Here starting from the announced date of the virus on 13 march, total 55 persons affected, from this no 2 died, 4 recovered, 2 returned back to their homeland (Japan). Every day every body is waiting the daily affected  persons result. Here the government is trying to teach peoples to follow the protection rules, specially keeping distance. But you know the way of life in Ethiopia. People’s they are not able to listen the precaution. So we don’t know how will be the virus spread on the next days. All businesses are closed. Our job is completely blocked. Since tourism is collapsed on first line. Many persons will face a problem on their life to survive. Yesterday the government declared state of emergency to control the situation. I was talking since many years with friends. The effect of population increase. We saw now it is very difficult to manage the problem. Because if the population number is not proportional to the country economy …
1- impossible to feed all the people who are the majority’s are poor and no income.
2 since there is problem of housing all the citizens life of living is very dense. So not easy to apply the principle of staying in distance.
3 not easy to control if security problem occurs.

So i am so worried for our country, also all African countries, how to resist the pandemic. Hope the solution will come soon. Here we are in third day of praying declaration from all religious leaders’ order. So every body is turning his face to god, for solution.

Hope one bright day will come and we will share that day together with good spirit.

One day later Y. continues:

“…. We have to do our part to save the planet. I am thinking if developed countries working hard on health safety instead of spending a lot of money for military purposes at this time we maybe able to counter attack the epidemic.

Any way we will pass this distraction. But for the next generation we have to build solution to overcome the main problems like epidemic, poverty, climate change by uniting together. Here in Ethiopia officials are battling on ethnic division, tensions between regions, nobody concerns about family plans, climate change, deforestation. Decision makers didn’t think deep for sustainable brand solution. That is why we face all problems.

Good luck and good time for u and your families as well for our globe.
With best regards. «

From K. as well a friend from Addis we learn, amazingly, …… that all over Addis Abeba there is now soap available at water collecting points, as well in offices! Furthermore, people are about to stop hugging. Still, keeping physical distance is hard as people are used to be together, to talk with one another.

We are all aware: the virus does not make any difference between human beings, whether rich or poor, whether “important” or “silent”, whether Asian, European, African, Australian or American. But life situations are so different. Switzerland is hit with almost 25000 infected persons so far and over 1000 have passed away. Switzerland is among the countries with highest infection and death rates. But still, the health system is well resourced and patients can be treated well. It is our moral obligation not to forget all those that do not enjoy such good health care. A healthy world is in the interest of all human beings, Swiss as well as Ethiopians. If Ethiopians or Italians are not well, this will have an influence on us in Switzerland as well. Therefore:

Solidarity is just in the interest of us all and as Y. writes: Hope one bright day will come and we will share that day together with good spirit


Ein Gedanke zu „Corona – voices from Addis Abeba“

  1. Kommentar von Peter Sidler, Addis Abeba:
    Liebe beide
    Habe den Blog natürlich gerade auch diesmal mit Interesse gelesen. Die Situation hier ist schon sehr speziell. Ich bin insgesamt sehr positiv angetan ob der Reponse der Zentralregierung – insbesondere im Vergleich zu anderen afrikanischen Regierungen. Weniger angetan bin ich ob den Regionalregierungen… Auch nicht ideal ist die Tatsache, dass dieses Wochenende tausende Gläubige dicht gedrängt in die Kirchen gingen, obschon klare anderslautende Regeln gelten würden und auch die Kirchen selbst eingelenkt hatten, dass dies nicht geschehen sollte…
    Seitens Kebele/Woreda wird Geld gesammelt, damit die Ärmeren hier mit Essen versorgt werden können. Das funktioniert soweit ganz ansprechend. Wir sind gespannt, wie es weitergeht. Problematisch ist der mittel- und langfristige Impakt auf die Kleinbauern hier. Und die Art und Weise wie Grenzen geschlossen werden, ist gerade für Pastoralisten höchst problematisch, weswegen es auch bereits bewaffnete Auseinandersetzungen mit Sicherheitskräften gab.
    Bleibt gesund – und möglichst munter!


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