Malealea Development Trust Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

Involved alumni:

The challenge that the project addresses

Following the closure of Malealea Lodge due to the Coronavirus, there has been a huge loss of income for many people in Malealea. Groups such as horse owners (whose horses were hired to take tourists around), tour guides and craft women lost income overnight when the flow of tourists stopped abruptly affecting many dependents of these groups as well. The Malealea Development Trust (MDT) workstowards mitigating the severe impact of this economic depression in Malealea while also sending vital messaging across the community to stay safe in the midst of a huge global pandemic.

What is your project doing to respond to this challenge?

  • providing training workshops for volunteers and community members on behaviour change
  • production of masks, posters and other educational materials to convey information around Covid-19
  • provision of food parcels to ensure access to nutrients by the most vulnerable families
  • advisory on setting up tippy-tap hand-washing stations to promote hygiene through regular washing of hands – these are set up in strategic areas of the villages
  • provision of sanitiser and bleach for shops to ensure clean environments and sanitising of customers upon entry
  • providing transportation to sick people to access medical care
  • sourcing the food parcels from local shop owners to ensure circulation of resources locally and boost their income; this at pre-agreed prices
  • co-authored a newspaper articles sharing how the Malealea community has responded to Covid-19; published in a local weekly newspaper (Lesotho Times)

Describe the project's impact

  • mitigation against the severest impacts of the loss of income in Malealea
  • ensuring that the community is aware of issues around Covid-19 through user-friendly messaging place in strategic places and also delivered by local volunteers
  • achieving behavioural change among the community; for example avoiding shaking of hands, regular washing of hands, maintaining social distancing, wearing masks in public spaces and awareness of covid-19 symptoms
  • ensuring minimum impact of covid-19 if some people in the area happen to be infected