The situation in Benin begins to worry; in a week, the actual registered cases have reached 90 and the authorities do not declare the place where the new infections occur. The lockdown continues throughout the country with the ban on gatherings, markets, religious ceremonies and travels, except for the transport of goods.
From Monday, May 11, at the decision of the Council of Ministers, the schools reopened only for the exam classes. All other students will be back in class from August 10 to September 4 and the start of the new school year 2020-2021 is scheduled for September 28. As suspected, the resumption of lessons is causing several problems due to the difficulty of ensuring hygienic-sanitary safety measures and proper social distancing.
Our local project collaborators, Chiara, Saturnin and Leocadie, are concerned about the reopening of schools. The limited access to water and the scarcity of soap or disinfectants would put in great danger all students who, being unable to comply with the correct hygienic protocol, would risk becoming infected and spreading this terrible virus at home and among the villages.
In addition to this we have to consider the insufficient number of masks. The Beninese Government has distributed masks throughout the country, prohibiting the sale of any other type of mask. However, distribution has not reached all households and certainly cannot be a long-term solution. For the kindergartens and reception centres in which we operate there is a problem: the children of the school “Petits Anges" in Natitingou are used to sleep on the mats, one next to each other and it will be impossible to guarantee the social distance in this situation.
For now, the children we follow with the Project “Mi allatti tu” are fine, but prices are increasing, and the delivery of milk powder is increasingly difficult. Aleimar is working to help the different centres and communities with the distribution of prevention devices and to ensure support for all children. In this delicate situation your help is even more important because only together can we try to stop this virus and limit the dramatic effects in this country.