Strengthening Resilience to Impact of Covid-19 in Artisanal Communities in Niger and Plateau State.
Recently, Safer World Foundation and Ziva Community Initiative implemented a project under the EGPS-2 Emergency Response-Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) Communities impacted by Covid-19 titled: Promoting Resilience to the Impact of Covid-19 in Artisanal Mining Communities in Niger and Osun States of Nigeria. The project sought to address socio-economic and health and safety concerns associated with artisanal mining communities, especially as aggravated by the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic. Building on the gains of the project as well as lessons learnt. This follow-on project will address emerging challenges and risks from the last project.
Strengthening Resilience to the Impact of COVID-19 in Artisanal Mining Communities in Niger and Plateau States will address the health and socio-economic impact of the pandemic as well as displacement of mining communities as a result of violent conflicts and other cases of insecurity experienced in the mining communities, with the view to also supporting capacity building for miners who need alternative livelihoods or wish to transition out of ASM, especially women. The project will also provide valid and authoritative information about COVID-19, its spread, and preventive protocols as we engage with key stakeholders to provide the needed information about the viability and safety of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Safer Worlds Foundation (SWF) and Ziva Community Initiative have been working with mining communities to support awareness creation and also business development initiatives to promote sustainable livelihoods, quality hygiene practice and empowerment of women who are mostly disadvantaged in these activities. These organizations have also been working to build a sustainable mining community through innovation and technology; strengthen the value chain and diversity through empowerment program.
With financial support from EGPS, this project is geared towards addressing the concerns related to information management,
attitudes, and perceptions around the existence of the COVID-19 virus and the misconceptions around the safety and efficacy of the vaccines. Attention will be paid to signs and symptoms, transmission avenues, prognosis of COVID-19, and the location of possible treatment centers and primary health care centers to access vaccines as well as prevention protocols as it relates to mining activities. This also includes exposing artisanal miners to newer, safer, and improved mining
practices amid the pandemic.
The project will also strengthen the systems and structures of women’s cooperatives to better serve their members and to be better positioned to access facilities. The project will create linkages to sources of alternative livelihoods, especially for miners who need alternative livelihoods or wish to transition out of ASM, especially women, with the aim of promoting self-sustenance and contributing to the overall resilience strategy.