Due to Covid-19, effect in February till mid of May 2020, ACT staff can’t go to communities or have any gathering due to the blocked and ban from the government and local government to gather less then 20 people and we keep social and physical distant. School were close in early of March 2020, Karaoke/KTV, Casino were order to close in April 2020. ACT staff only able to make phone called for interview in collective issue from community and sent out any prevention material for the networks to conduct their awareness at the ground by themselves. Below cases relate to the Covid-19 impact community and especially women. Early of February 2020 after the group of Muslim travel back from prayer in Malaysia and got affect of the Covid-19 via the news, discrimination among faith and ethic were increase, especially the conflict via social media. One of ACT network who are Muslim women also respond affect of these Covid-19 and no one take their small business services due to afraid of Muslim. Below relate affect case of the Covid-19 concern from the communities:
CASE #1: Mr. Oun Mao, 52 years old, Souy indigenous, live in Lgim village, TrapangChor commune, Oral district, KampongSpeu province, Cambodia. His education at grade 5, married with the same Souy indigenous lady at the same province with 3 children; he is the main support for the whole family. His house made from wood surrounded by cannel flow Oral mountain. His is working for Sugar Can company own by Chinese business by clear the grass or put fertilizer, harvest or plant sugar cane, he make money 4.50USD per day which working from 8:30am till 8:00pm. Out of this job early in the morning before go to company he went to the pond for fishing for sell or cooking. During this Covid-19 times he feel afraid of infection but he still force himself to work due to government announce not allow to stop working event it’s take risk as if he not go to work during this time he will face no job to do in the future and this job is daily work that required him to work 7 days a week if sick and want to have break he will have no income to feed the family, if he break or sick leave during working the company not hire him any more so event sick. During this Covid-19 time, everything increase price and his business can’t run well seems no people to buy. After Khmer New Year in mid of April the company has no job to do. He so worried, he think if this Covid-19 still going on like this he doesn’t know how it will be and if his family get ill that will be more serious as now no proper hospital while no income and the safety of his family. Cambodia government has no strategic to survive such poor at remote people. He suggested how he and family able to have income, he and family so stressful and feel not calm due to such concern for family no proper food to eat, sole few value stuff he has few no one buy it. At this moment he don’t know what to do looking for job to do but not possible at this moment, looking for support but seem don’t know who will support his family as turn to other neighbor of him, there were many family facing the same problem as him. Seem no one help each other at this moment.
CASE #2: Mr. Em Chan Trea, 38 years old, Kuy indigenous, lives in Kampong Rotes village, Beoung Char commune, Sambo district, Kratie province, Cambodia. Married with a lady having 2 children live in cottage 4m x 6m. He is farmer, raise poultry, and collective shell from Mekong river for selling to feed his family. He makes income 2USD per day. Out of his work when there is development the road he and his wife go to dig the soil for road make 6USD per day and this job has no every day and since Covid-19 all this investment plan was stop and he has no extra job to do with can’t sell his shell make from river seem no one buy as market is quiet he make from that for only feed the family. He used to get education by grade 12 that because at that time he is monk so he got chance to study with this grade. With this current situation he has no income only make by fishing, he is so worry if one of his family members got sick he has no money at all to pay doctor. He lent money from Micro-Finance 300USD since April 2019 for his two sons cure as they got sick of dengue and he able only pay for the interest 3%, for the whole lent he still not able to pay back to Micro-Finance 300USD, if the Micro-Finance insists for pay back all he has to sell his cattle, if so he can’t have cattle to make the rice field to feed the family. He and family willing to work as construction the road or work nearby home town but seem no job to do. He plan to work in Thailand but the local government not allow going and all border are close due to Covid-19. Now he has no hope, no future to think of how to do as no way at all.
CASE #3: Ms. Sou Chai Ya, 23 years old, lives at Damrei village, Beoun Char commune, Sambo district, Kratie province, Cambodia. She studied only grade 9 due family require her to work support her family as her father got sick sleep only on bed. She force herself to stop study for help her mom to make money boiling shell for sell. She and her mother have to responsible on whole family with 5 members. As four year ago before her father got sick, was lent Micro-Finance 3,000USD for build house and till now not able to pay back. Recently Royal Government of Cambodia announce to Micro finance not to take interest but in the reality, Micro-Finance still go and ask for pay back the interest and the lent money on time without exception. With Covid-19 crisis she can’t make profit as people don’t spend money easily at this time, if the situation still likes this, she doesn’t know how to do as she has to pay for medicine for her father, food for family and pay back the Micro-Finance. At this moment no job, no business, no income, she don’t know what to do, so worry! She wishes if there is job that make more money to pay the Micro and feed the family to survive that would be relief. Who can help in such situation? How to do?
In general situation, in February during the Do No Harm Training in early of February ACT staff had instructed on how to avoid and protect from Covid-19 effect. Later on in end of March 2020, RGC ban not to gather people at communities so ACT had been doing online and phone call for communities conduct their own activities and support them respond to Covide-19 education. Later on we had conduct survey collective idea of the target network concern during Covid-19 below is their concern and suggestion:
- Economic concern (no income, debt issue losing land and house)
- Health concern (miss trust on the current health center or hospital)
- No money to pay back to Micro-Finance
- Lost job, No work to do
- Worry of loss their property or land
- Insecurity in the country
- Worry of their family member affect by Covid-19
- Close down the village/province
- Watch the new coming in the villages
- No gathering not worship at temple/church/mosque
- No protection equipment (buy food is the most important then Alcohol, Mass….)
- Stress and Domestic violence
Mentality Affect: get involved 50 pax among the partners in attending any gathering
- 46% respond afraid to join activities or gathering.
- 54% they fell they can join any gathering activities but the local authority is restricted, with spy observe from village governor to watch.
- Afraid each other as we don’t know they have Covid-19 or not
- Social/physical distant, no one able to help each other when one fall down or sick
- Can’t join any activities in society, no school, ….
- Economic of each family especially the poor and those who lent Micro-Finance
- Facing lost their house or land and property due to debt
- Harvesting their plantation no one buy can’t sell out
- Close all boarder, food increase price
- Loss income, loss work
- Community conflict can’t deal properly
- Discrimination of Muslim and mistrust
- Domestic violent increase drinking
- Mistrust at the hospital services
- Have job and work to do
- Food and stuffs security
- Have money to pay back to bank
- Communities small business must be support
- Communities produce must be support
- Have enough support to families
- Physical support must be take action to the poor
- Health care must be honestly support
- Protection material supply must be provide (Soap, ….)
- Security must be protected well
- Other community issue/problem no action taken and it became the illegal person to take their action that increase the frightening.
Link join regional concern in Covid-19 impact the people.