Africans are worried about food supply, their economies, and the global coronavirus pandemic in equal measure, new report says.
As the virus continues to shatter food supply chains and weaken major economies across the globe, a remotely administered survey by GeoPoll’s mobile-based platform, found that 80 per cent of the respondents were frightened over the virus outbreak in their countries.
According to the survey that sampled more than 4,500 Africans across 12 nations, two-thirds reported that they were self-quarantining to reduce the risk and spread of the coronavirus.
In addition, 85 per cent of the respondents in Kenya, Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were worried in the last seven days that they would not have enough to eat.
Another 71 per cent of the respondents said they were also ‘very concerned about the economic impact of the virus’, which has now infected more than 2 million people across the globe and claimed more than 140,000 lives.
“A health crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic can have devastating effects on development, food supplies and resources of vulnerable populations. Reliable data is needed to accurately track the on-the-ground situations. Using our remote mobile methodologies we were able to gather valuable information quickly and safely,” said GeoPoll CEO Nicholas Becker.
“Some governments in Africa have been proactive about lockdowns to prevent the virus from quickly spreading through densely populated areas, but it is already present in many African nations, and this study shows that there is fear that the worst is yet to come.”
There are also rising concerns over food supplies. Most of the Africans polled reported that they were shopping for food less often, while just 20 per cent reported that all food markets around them are currently operational.
There is a growing concern that many nations in Africa are not prepared for a pandemic like Covid-19. This has triggered widely different approaches and very different levels of public support.
In Rwanda, 81 per cent of respondents believe that their government has done enough to stop the spread of the virus, as do 60 per cent in Uganda. However, in Zambia, Nigeria and Kenya, less than a third are confident enough that this has been done.
The degree of health fears in each nation appeared related to the level of quarantine in place. While 63 per cent of Africans believe that they are at risk of contracting the virus, Rwandans judge themselves to be at the lowest risk, at 37 per cent, in a situation where 90 per cent have self-quarantined.
Conversely, in countries such as Mozambique and Zambia, which report lower rates of self-quarantining, citizens feel more vulnerable, with over 80 per cent in each of these countries believing they are at risk. Such fears across nations with limited ICU capacity and scanty supplies of oxygen have caused changes in behaviour, with 54 per cent of