Unconstitutional lockdown judgment is a lesson for Africa’s disaster management
But there’s a lesson to draw here which can assist other African countries, as our situation is neither unique nor isolated.
At issue here is, on the one hand, the choice of legislation that governments rely on as the legal basis for their response to the Covid-19 coronavirus and, on the other hand, governance standards and considerations against which such a response should be measured.
In its judgment, the court argues that our government relies on paternalism rather than the Constitution to benchmark the legality of the regulations. These two findings can easily apply to any country because the Covid-19 phenomenon is two things at the same time – a national disaster and a public health crisis.
In addition to this, because of the nature of the pathogen, governments have had to call on their security apparatus to enforce extraordinary but necessary measures which affect people’s lives and their human rights…
The relevance of resilience during disasters
Resilience has been broadly defined as the capacity to adapt successfully to threats or disturbances. The concept has been adapted and applied to many contexts; we often hear about disaster resilience, community resilience, and environmental resilience, among others. In the face of COVID-19, it is important that we talk about a different type of resilience; that of individuals when faced with challenge, conflict, or crisis—what is often called ‘personal resilience’—and how it is relevant for each one of us.
We’ve known about personal resilience for some time. More than half a century ago, social science researchers noticed that some people were able to not just cope, but also thrive after facing severe adversity. Some believed that this ability to bounce back was innate, but years of research show otherwise. What has emerged is that resilience can be developed by building a set of skills and perspectives, and that these skills and perspectives can be taught…