When the devastating impacts of Covid-19 was first reported in Wuhan the capital and the largest city of Hubei province and most populous in Central China, the Chinese reaction was criticized as draconian. The same response is now being hailed and emulated across the world as the disease situation gets desperate.

In Rarieda, the initial threat has been on the education sector, health, and food security majorly. In this time of crisis, our capacity and resilience has been tested.

If we treat this crisis as an opportunity, we are better placed building capacity for the next wave of the pandemic and developing a lasting solution to similar challenges in the future.

On food security that we have combated by distributing portions, we need to realize our missed opportunity to earn big based on our potential for food production. Land and lake have been at our disposal but not exploited. We can reverse this for a better future. It’s sad that we had to wait for a pandemic to wake us up, while numerous calls by ordinary men for the same in the past, were ignored.

On education, since the first case was reported in the country, schools have remained closed physically while struggling to exploit alternative means to access the precious resource. This is an opportunity for us to invest on e-learning. We need to train our teachers in this sense and exploit the new mindset and approach being cultivated among educationists, courtesy of the current pandemic.

Regarding health, we obviously have not been tested enough. We have been lucky enough to have a chance to put our health facilities in good order, before the pandemic arrive in full swing at our locality. I pray it does not devastate us. We need to make sure we have adequate medical emergency facilities to cope with any potential health crisis during this pandemic and thereby establishing a strong health infrastructure for the future. Remember, if we adopt good nutrition habits and practice social distancing and basic hygiene, we will largely prevent this strange sickness. Everyone should exploit lifestyle change, that is being necessitated by the force of the threat of the pandemic especially to those already ailing. 

We must also protect the elderly, not only now, but also in the future and always. We have ignored our elders for long and could be, we are being robbed of them because of our neglect. May God forgive us. We still need the wisdom of the elderly among us, for a complete heritage. Let us make life easier and health and food accessible to the poor and old.

This crisis has other direct opportunities we can harness. We have opportunity for demonstration of good leadership, opportunity for creativity especially in the area of art and innovations, and opportunity for unity, and development. These are aspects we can exploit together given the good will of the community in this time of crisis.

Good leadership will be demonstrated in this time of crisis. The selfish leaders will retreat to their safe backyards, while the self-sacrificing ones will be with the people in their time and place of need. A true warrior will take a front-line stand. Let us take this opportunity to assess the potential of our current and future leaders.

In connection with creativity in art and innovation, we not only hail music, the spoken word and acting, for keeping the masses sane and entertained at this time of crisis that poses potential mental health damage, but we have seen innovation in manufacture of protective gears, such as affordable durable face masks, against the spread of the virus.

Our traditional herbs and ways of disease control such as steaming the face above a pot of hot water containing medicinal herbs should be modified for standard use. Our young medical practitioners and researchers can start from the traditional foundation to propose solutions on treatment and vaccines, if possible. A consultative approach with the elderly renown herbalists would be starting ground.

Unity has also come almost naturally. For once we can say that we are in this together. The place of tribes and clans and other forces that divide us have been assigned to Annals of history. Let us remain united as Rarieda.

Lastly, we all have a part to play for us to win this war. An invisible enemy is in our midst. Let each play a part in building the wall of protection against the enemy. Protect yourself and those around you (wash your hands, wear face mask and practice social distancing) and remember to be patient, forgiving and kind. Be your brother’s and sister’s keeper said the good book of our God and if you feel compelled through compassion to be of help, give cheerfully.

By God’s grace when this has passed, we shall be a better and a more reasonable people. More connected in our quest for shared prosperity. Let us allow this crisis to both shape and redefine our values and lifestyle, leading to a prosperous future for posterity.

Eng. Reuben J Onunga, PE

Team Leader and CEO

Rarieda Professionals Trust (RPT)

Harnessing the power of professionals for fiscal development for posterity.