News from Trust Africa’s Solidarity Fund: Supporting the Informal Sector and Community- Led Responses During COVID-19

In the western part of Zimbabwe, BVTA has been busy working with daily wage earners in a similar fashion as part of the Citizens’ Manifesto convergence platform in Zimbabwe. BVTA conducted online and physical trainings to equip vendors with alternative skills to keep afloat during the outright lockdown.  BVTA also purchased and distributed nearly 400 masks to BVTA members to help fight the spread of COVID-19 as many vendors and informal traders could not afford the masks which were being sold at exorbitant prices. In addition, BVTA handed over 45 hand washing water dispensers to the Bulawayo City Council for use in select marketplaces. The water dispensers also help raise awareness as they were inscribed with messages that encourage observation of WHO recommended measures in the fight against COVID-19.

As the economic strain of COVID-19  pandemic grows, the discourse around the formalization and recognition of the informal sector in Africa is garnering more attention. With support from TrustAfrica, BVTA and VISET co-hosted a breakfast meeting on 3 July 2020 to co-create solutions with private sector, local authorities, resident groups and informal traders that provide eco-friendly, healthy and secure trading spaces as part of a larger call for inclusive city design planning.

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