The study provided evidence of transport-related COVID-19 challenges in peri-urban Antananarivo and recommended options for sustainable solutions.
Provide evidence of transport-related COVID-19 challenges in peri-urban Antananarivo and recommend options for sustainable solutions.
Little is known about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mobility of women and vulnerable groups living in the peri-urban areas of Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital. The COVID-19 crisis has exposed and exacerbated deficiencies in the public transport system that is vital in peri-urban areas and the city centre. Virus containment measures adopted by the government have disrupted transport services by reducing hours of operation and restricting passenger numbers. The impact of these measures particularly on the most vulnerable communities living is still largely unknown.
Exchanges with researchers and practitioners in low-income countries suggest many Covid-19 related public transport issues in peri-urban Antananarivo are likely to be similar in Madagascar. This provides opportunities for mutual exchange and learning.
This study has engaged transport users in the peri-urban areas of Antananarivo, especially women and vulnerable households, to identify their mobility needs in the COVID-19 crisis. This is an opportunity for advocacy and to engage transport users, operators, and the authorities to understand transport issues of women and disadvantaged groups.
This three-month study used qualitative and quantitative gender-disaggregated research methods to survey nine Antananarivo peri-urban municipalities. Some 900 vulnerable households have been contacted.
Focus group meetings have been conducted with women, minibus operators, other transport services, transport users, local government officials and regulators. To obtain comparable information, on-line interviews have been conducted with experts in other low-income countries.
The study findings have been shared in a stakeholder workshop in which an illustrated report with the analysed data was presented, and through ongoing advocacy for developing of coherent, inclusive and gender-sensitive local transport policies and practices post-COVID-19.
This study has provided evidence of transport-related COVID-19 challenges to women in peri-urban Antananarivo. Recommendations and policy guidelines have been made to improve public transport. Sustainable solutions have been identified that contribute to making transport safer, resilient to pandemics, inclusive, and adapted to the needs of women and other vulnerable groups. Options to reduce dependency on public transport have also been highlighted, such as intermediate means of transport, satellite markets and/or load consolidation at peri-urban depots.
The lessons are to be shared internationally in English and French so that other low income countries can benefit from the research findings.