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Beitbridge Gets IOM, Swedish Embassy Boost In Covid-19 Fight

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By Staff Reporter


THE International Organisation for Migration (IOM), with support from the Swedish Embassy, has provided Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities to the Beitbridge municipality to boost its fight against Covid-19.

The border town has always been viewed as a coronavirus hotspot owing to its close proximity to neighbouring South Africa where there are over 1.5 million cases, the highest on the continent.

The IOM and Swedish Embassy said the WASH support facilities to the Beitbridge municipality and department of immigration were aimed at strengthening Covid-19 infection prevention and control (IPC) at the border town.

The municipality was provided with 150 street bins and 5 000 litre water tanks to improve the solid waste management while the Department of Immigration was supported with the installation of barricades and social distancing markers within the immigration clearance halls, the IOM said in a statement.

“The support provided will address some of the challenges we experienced in the last few weeks, where there was increased littering along congested roads around the Beitbridge Border Post,” town director of environmental and health services, Pio Muchena said.

Muchena said the initiative will go a long towards improving their WASH facilities targeting hotspot areas frequented by the migrant population.

Prior to the installation of the barricades and social distancing markers, the infrastructure within the Beitbridge border post did not allow for clear separation of traffic resulting in delays and congestion at clearance bays, IOM said.

In addition to the intervention, IOM and its partners continue to support Zimbabwe in strengthening core capacities for public health measures at points of entry (PoEs).

IOM’s Covid-19 emergency response has reached over 171,000 returnees with assistance through the different strategic pillars which include risk communication and community engagement, disease surveillance, infection prevention and control, protection, WASH and reintegration assistance.