Mai 2020: Ethiopia / Lalibela: report about actual situation

Abebe reports critically about the situation in Lalibela – today

Abebe Zewdu is one of our critical older students in Lalibela, who has proven himself in various areas, especially in the health and care sector, he is recognized as a trained health officer. This Tuesday morning he frankly reports to us about the situation in Lalibela.

How are you, Peter I hope you are safe! Today I was thinking about the C-19 situation in Ethiopia. There are different forecasts and hypotheses about the extent of new cases in June. C-19 news from Ethiopia was released today. We tested 24,088 confirmed cases, 3 deaths and 75 healings. This is good news for Ethiopia. You probably think about the weaknesses of our health system, our lack of awareness of the problem, negligence and simply ignorance.

But if you came to Lalibela today, you would hardly assume that there is a global pandemic in this world. Without a doubt, it is a very serious crisis. But the people in Lalibela are still doing everything as usual as they are used to. The few existing services are limited and tourism has collapsed 100%. Otherwise people move around quite freely, visit the churches, go to the market, take part in droves at a funeral, even weddings take place with the subsequent drinking.

The government hardly works more or less on transportation, the number of passengers has been cut in half. It is hard to believe how much the authorities seem to be burdening the state of emergency!

Last week, on Friday, there was a service for St. George’s Festival in Bilbala. That’s how it is every year in Bilbala, a small town near Lalibela. My pragmatism tells me that these travelers from Lalibela to Bilbala go there under supervision. The number of participants has halved, but everyone has to pay double the fare. Then everyone met in the church! They traveled there to meet in celebration and feast in a chaotic atmosphere. It’s a very questionable thing for me! It is an astonishingly narrow perspective for the authorities too. I think the people in Lalibela are like everyone else: they do what is said to them from above. I am so disappointed. Courage to change and renew is lacking. For years I have been fighting so hard to overcome my people’s ignorance of carelessness and inattentiveness, also from the authorities.

PBF will endeavor, I think, to do even more for prevention strategies. We may need to step up our efforts to help the poorest of the poor and, if possible, give them more disinfectants.