As the virus spreads more widely, and more to the South, more people realize the particular challenges the informal settlements face in the current global crisis. Crowing, lack of public services, inadequate dwellings and violence are pictured in articles all around the word. And also, there have started to appear suggestions, lessons learned, good practices and spaces to share knowledge.
Below what I have found so far. The quotes that summarize the situation, and the links to the more interesting and inspired articles.
Here, “social distancing” means something very different than it does to Europeans or Americans. It is less about the physical space between people than the social space between the rich and poor that means only the privileged can maintain any kind of social isolation.
Coronavirus: Social distancing a distant dream in Africa’s slum
‘We are very afraid’: scramble to contain coronavirus in Mumbai slum
Slum life in time of coronavirus
Whether in the UK or the developing world, we’re not all in coronavirus together
Crowded Slums Pose Challenge as Kenya Braces for Coronavirus
Social distancing is a privilege of the middle class. For India’s slum dwellers, it will be impossible
Brazil’s densely packed favelas brace for coronavirus: ‘It will kill a lot of people.’
“But since the lockdown, most private water tankers have refused to come and when one does, it runs out of water fast because the entire locality is experiencing a shortage.”
Water access critical to beating back COVID-19 spread in slum areas
Under coronavirus lockdown, Delhi slum residents struggle to get water
Isolation is also hard when space is constrained and rooms are often shared
In slums and windowless apartments, Asia’s poor bear brunt of coronavirus
“Coronavirus is scary. We go to bed scared of what is going to happen tomorrow, who is going to be infected. But at least we fall asleep. When you watch your children struggling to sleep on an empty stomach, when they wake you up at 4am asking if it is time to eat yet, then you cannot sleep”
Coronavirus chases the slum dwellers of Latin America
‘No work, no food’: For Kibera dwellers, quarantine not an option
In the slums of Rio, communities have to choose between hunger and coronavirus
“We’re imposing a curfew because nobody is taking this seriously. Whoever is in the street screwing around or going for a walk will receive a corrective and serve as an example. Better to stay home doing nothing. The message has been given.”
Gangs call curfews as coronavirus hits Rio favelas
Faes desalojan por la fuerza a buhoneros y transeúntes de Petare
Security forces use violent tactics to enforce Africa’s coronavirus shutdowns
As major donors, international organizations, and national officials move forward with larger-scale responses, they should work closely with the poor and heed the lessons they have already learned and applied themselves.
Mistrustful of state, Brazil slum hires own doctors to fight coronavirus
Lessons From Brazil’s Poor to Fight the Coronavirus
Coronavirus: Brazil’s favela residents organize to stop the spread
Favela Residents, Confined to Homes, Use Rooftops as Offices and Even Gyms
After 2 Deaths and in the Absence of the State, Dense Rocinha Mobilizes Against Covid-19
Brazilian rapper warns of coronavirus danger in Brazil’s slums
Policymakers need tailored rather than uniform approaches to tackling COVID-19 in informal settlements
How to Tackle Coronavirus in Slums
Mapping Mumbai’s slum challenge in coronavirus battle
How to Fight Coronavirus in Slums
Disinfecting Drones Used in India’s Slums to Fight Coronavirus
Coronavirus: Shofco establishes handwashing stations in Kibera
Series: Coronavirus in the Favelas
“Asentamientos precarios y vivienda social: impactos de la COVID-19 y respuestas”
“Staying home is an act of love and respect.” However, social isolation will succeed only if it works hand in hand with social protection.