Photo: Joël

Life in Côte d'Ivoire during Covid-19 crisis

Côte d'Ivoire - April 2020

We are all impacted by the current health crisis and lockdown but conditions around the world are not all the same. We have chosen to share with you the daily life of our beneficiaries during this period.

After the Philippines and Bangladesh, we would like to share with you the situation in Côte d'Ivoire. The Ivorian government has taken measures such as the closure of schools, universities and some businesses, and the establishment of a curfew, but there is no imposed lockdown as in France.

It was Joël, a resident of the Gbamnan Djidan 1 neighbourhood, who agreed to answer a few questions. He is a security guard, single and lives with his mother and his aunt. He is one of the inhabitants who subscribe to the WhatsApp database, to which Eau et Vie Côte d'Ivoire distributes awareness messages.

He tells us about his daily life and his current feelings.

More than ever before, solidarity between confined people, even on the other side of the world, is important!

Eau et Vie: How do you and your family feel during this period? How do you cope?

Joël: It's really difficult at the moment, because I haven't had a contract for 3 months and mom also had to close her small business because of the decrees taken by the government. We live from day to day, we rely on God.

Eau et Vie: How is daily life going?

Joël: I'm bored, it's a bit routine. We're resting. There's anything to do.

Eau et Vie: What has it changed for you personally?

Joël: Professionally, for me everything is stopped because there is no more show or event, so there is no need for surveillance. For my mother it is even more complicated, because there is no more selling drinks and she has no other income. Personally, for me it's a hard blow, but "a boy stays a boy" (it means he stays solid). My mom is worried and often wonders "when is it going to end?". She is also devastated, because she recently lost her mother, my grandmother, and cannot even attend her funeral, because it is no longer possible to leave Abidjan (the city has been quarantined from the rest of the country).

Eau et Vie: Do you feel any change in the slum (calmness, anxiety, solidarity…)?

Joël: With most activities declining, more and more parents are at home and they are the most affected. Otherwise young people and children continue to play football and talk. Solidarity remains, between neighbors, habits have not changed. There is still a bit of salt or maggi cube in the neighbor’s house and vice versa. It should also be said that the actions carried out by EVCI are to be commended, as the NGO is concerned, worried and really interested in the well-being of the community with all the awareness videos on coronavirus shared on WhatsApp.

Continuing to provide them with access to water free of charge is a strong and vital gesture for them, we could not leave them with the added worry of no longer having access to water. You too, you can help them by contributing to our emergency fund.