By Tanyaradzwa Mtema
Growing up in a developing country where humanitarian concerns are still at a preliminary stage has exposed me to various livelihoods within the local communities. A livelihood is a basic human need. One cannot survive without a sustainable livelihood that will exist for the future generations. When a livelihood is sustained a village is saved.
The Covid-19 pandemic has buffled the population for months ever since the nightfall of 2019. Corona has left no stone unturned thus creating a lot of chaos in the socio-economic and health environments. This has been a major turn down that has left the population in a vulnerable state with crumbled livelihoods.
A community is made up of people and an individual is the society itself. Whenever the society crumbles the individual is affected. Socially the livelihoods of an individual depends on the society thus Sociologists have come to talk of the annexation between the individual and the society. Developing countries have always been at the fore front of the most socially affected countries. These countries are known to have interdependent livelihoods. This includes the family relationships, community mobilization and biodiversity. The coming in of corona has disrupted these family relations making it difficult for people to gather for funerals, weddings, birthdays and other community related projects that brought the people together including the famous agricultural activities which are the backbone of developing continents. Cases of gender based violence have risen with South Africa recording the highest number of GBV cases. This shows the marital issues that made it unstable and led to divorces over the period of lockdown.
Developing countries have the highest percentage of Christian families within their communities. This is likely because of the harsh situations that they are exposed to that they always turn to God for a better livelihood. Karl Marx once declared that, "religion is the opium of the masses." This is certainly true for developing countries in West Africa where we have muslims and Christians. In India we have the Hindus who are believed to be very prayerful. But what is going to happen once these source of survival are shut down? Corona times have made it difficult for the masses to visit the temples due to restrictions that came with movements. Traditionally our ancestors would have talked to us but there were no community engagements. The church was also a place for the destitute and the hungry to receive some grocery hampers. Their livelihoods were affected by closing down the church building where people could come in and share their problems. This has also increased psychological depressions and affected their mental health.
Left vulnerable with only squalid savings to survive on, the pandemic has been a cause for the third wave of economic depression. Economic sources of livelihoods for developing countries are usually based on the hand to mouth philosophy. Most of the people survived on the informal sectors such as vending. All these markets have been shuttered and losses were made as the world declared for a national lockdown. In Zimbabwe, local vendors in Mutare had their vegetables burnt down to ashes by the local police because they had violated the lockdown regulations. This was a disruption of the only source of livelihood that was supposed to feed their families. Economically the laws and policies that were impacted have greatly created social disparities and exacerbated the poverty and crime rates in developing countries as people scramble for survival.
One particular scholar once mentioned that democracy is a myth and I guess this is true for developing worlds. In Asia, particularly Iraq and Iran they have become used to unsustainable livelihoods defined by war and terrorism. In Africa, they preach democracy for all but this lacks the practicality of action. The pandemic has instigated the power disparities that exist between the government and the people. Africa believes in ruling by the gun. This is one way that instilled fear among the citizens. Brutality and emotional abuse was another way of depriving individuals of their rights to basic necessities. What corona has brought were only political tears among the civilians as they continued crying for freedom to save their families and posing themselves vulnerable to the virus as they try to stand once again.
A sustainable livelihood is what makes a great future for the next generations. Developing countries have always been chained by the bigger powers through sanctions from developed nations. The coming in of Corona has worsened the situation and jailed the developing communities into one village defined by poverty,poor health, crime and social injustice.
- Parrot Release admin