Post Covid-19 era; Zimbabwe needs to re-visit on goals 1, 2 and 5 to remain sustainable

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Three Sustainable Development Goals are on hang to success before 2030 due to covid-19 threat since the beginning of this year. 

The United Nations Development Goals are namely Goal 1, End poverty in all its forms everywhere, goal 2, End hunger, achieve food -security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable Agriculture. The third one is on achieving on  Gender equality and empowering all women and girls. 

The fact on the ground is on the current poverty threshold which is the minimum level of income deemed adequate in a country. You calculate the total cost of all resources that a person takes a year. They are far exceeded by the total population. In-order to sustain this there is a need for replacement of the utilized resources. The sustainable way of re-filling is replenishment.

 It is, therefore, crucial to create a conducive sustainable community by tapping out resources from sources where they lie, make use of them wisely using principles of transparency, accountability, credibility and fair distribution to all people. At the same time, community share ownership is practised. This means people around the area get access to resources. It is wise as well to – the cut-down, used resources exceeding the population so that the future generations have enough for themselves to suit their needs. In-order to shoot to a score communities turn to a new modern way of managing transparency and accountability of resources in -order to promote inclusivity. Extractive industry transparency inclusivity works well in countries taking watch and surveillance to their flourish of wealth. 

At the same time, it is important to manage resources equally, equitably, with inclusivity in terms of sharing its proceeds. Replenishing the removed resources so that they regenerate and grow for future generations is done to the environment, soil and water resources and promoting Health and Education at par-level. 

Current situation around 

New Poverty trends found a way as people got under 21 days lock-down.  I was extended to 3 weeks then restrictions. The most affected were Informal traders, vendors, dealers, indigenous transport and business operators in the country. Such is a true fact taking into consideration Zimbabwe is dominated by small to medium enterprises. 

There are forms of poverty like absolute, relative, situational, extreme and income which erupted. There are sustainability solutions that the Government can come with. To solve this is a policy issue. These could range from Industrial policy development to create jobs for young people. A conducive atmosphere for Investors is promoted by support from the World Bank and the United Nations taking into consideration goal number 9 on building resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization  

Poverty is expected to have risen up since the total consumption poverty line stood at $1284,17 per/person as of March 2020. By now an individual requires that much exceeding $100 US dollars to survive normal life. An individual requires that much to purchase non-food and food items as at 27 April in order not to deepen into poverty. 

It is sad also to note that poverty datum -line as of 9 June 2020 was at $6420,00 in March to $7425,00 in April, representing 15,7% official figures.  A bigger percentage of people is under the poverty datum line in Zimbabwe. This means many people have no access to three basic needs which are food, shelter and clothing. The three determines the status of an individual and further positions the society that person fits in. 

Bringing the sanity of sustainability just not only lies on civil society and community people in coming up with collective action working together as a family to push the Government cut or end restrictions. That could be a mutual understanding solution yes, What is needed to create sustainability to address poverty and hunger is to track up on the following ..

New Community regeneration programs funded by civil societies, Non-Governmental Organizations, International Donors, United Nations and the Government.

Community poverty reduction programs for child-headed families, poverty-stricken families, old aged families and for orphans, both paternal and maternal and double orphans and finally vulnerable families.

Food for work programs in communities. One country that has a policy for social development in China with the one-child policy because of its 1,5 billion population. The old people go for food for work. They do clean towns and cities so that they earn a living because they have no children.

Governments of all countries especially developing countries to take a new focus on the 3 goals, 1, 2 and 5 which relates to poverty, hunger and gender in-equality created during the time of covid-19.

Government re-direction on new policies and poverty reduction frame-work and strategies linked to programs to link young people, girls at danger of unwanted pregnancies due to unplanned marriages, sexual abuse and molestation.

–Good comity of nations relations at a global level with the International community. A country like Zimbabwe could come up with a review of the look east policy and look all directions working with sustainable goals like goal number -10, reducing in-equalities within and among countries, ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns and goal 17 on strengthening the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. 

Currently, post -covid-19 era, young women, girls, adolescents, teenagers and youth need scholarships to sustain education and health sectors. Education given free to young people help reduce future poverty by almost 30% in Africa and the developing world.

Gender equality -Goal 5. 

Like many countries in the World marred by gender-based violence, the country is at a fall in terms of gender equality, equity and balance. This is in line with Goal 5 in line with achieving gender equality and empowering all women and children. The three goals have been confirmed on the loose as covid-19 continues.

Since Zimbabwe is 90% In-Formal according to Economists, many families lost income for family support from the beginning of April up to September. One good example is of In-Formal Traders who cry-foul short-changed and impacted at most by the Government. The Government of Zimbabwe came up with strategies to manage covid-19.

The 1st 21 days of lock-down according to many informal traders who gave testimony said they had a bit of challenges here and there. The continuation of the lock-down after 21 days announced thrice before restrictions brought a mountain of challenges to many in-formal traders. It is now very difficult for them to survive with little or no problems like economic hardships.

Gender-Based Violence.

There are cross-border women who support children still in school. They need all the basics from female parents who earn living on doing trade. Among informal women in small to medium enterprises are vendors and some women in commercial sex work. Most of these have used the financial resources that they had stashed for the next orders in their business.  Gender-based -violence has been reported increase in the World. This was caused by dwindling sources of income as bread-winners had no job in hand for family income. Besides, there was no source of income. The increase of violence in families reverses gains of equality and equity among men and women.

In-order to sustain lives of gender equality, balance and equity and promoting the empowerment of women and girls’ action is urgent to take looking at policy lines, Government strategies and measures that bring sanity to gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. Their empowerment eradicates extreme poverty and hunger. Empowered girls and women have access to Health, Education a move towards the achievement of some other goals like goal number 4, ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all.

Young people and youth need to grow with the idea of equality in an equal society where patriarchy and matriarchy are at the same level. Education, training, capacity building and advocacy is no doubt achievable as long communities work with values like equality, empowerment, collective action, social justice and democracy that move well towards sustainability. They need to be groomed as they grow. Catch them young. By so doing they become oriented for integration into humanitarian-built communities with peace enjoyment. For today and future generations, this could move well with goal 16, promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Contact Nevison Mpofu through email, nmnevsonmpofu755@gmail.com

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