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COVID-19: 21 million people across six states protected says NGOs

COVID-19 : 21 million people across six states protected says NGOs

By Ahmed Ahmed

Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) the Heineken Africa Foundation and WaterAid Nigeria says 21 million people across six states get support to protect themselves against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in Nigeria.

Mrs Oluseyi Abdulmalik, WaterAid Nigeria Communications and Media Manager disclosed this in a statement made available to Journalists on Friday in Bauchi.

The statement said the Heineken Africa Foundation, WaterAid Nigeria, civil society organisations and the government celebrated a seven-month project that expanded hygiene access for marginalised and vulnerable communities in Bauchi, Benue, Ekiti, Enugu, Kaduna and Oyo states.

“N284 million was earmarked to Scale-Up Hygiene project aimed at complementing government’s efforts in reducing the spread of the coronavirus disease

“Through large-scale hygiene promotion, and provision of handwashing facilities to support the practice of good hygiene in the states of intervention,” it said

The statement lamented that despite the proven effectiveness of good hygiene to combat the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19.

“Millions of people in Nigeria do not have anywhere to wash their hands and lack the knowledge of how and why to wash hands properly.

The lack of facilities and knowledge creates a higher risk of illness and disease transmission.

“including the spread of COVID-19, with adverse impact on health, education, gender equality, livelihoods and socio-economic development,” it’s stated

According to the statement, to address some of these challenges, WaterAid implemented the Clean Family Campaign in the six states of intervention.

“To motivate people towards practising specific hygiene behaviours – handwashing with soap, social distancing, respiratory hygiene, use of clean water and use of clean toilets.

The statement revealed that under this project campaign, over 21,000,000 residents around Bauchi, Benue, Ekiti, Enugu, Kaduna and Oyo States and in Abuja were empowered with context-specific hygiene information and encouraged to practice good hygiene.

“Using different promotional touchpoints including national, state and community TV and radio stations,” it said.

The statement also said around 210 non-contact and inclusive handwashing facilities were installed in healthcare facilities, schools and public places to support the practice of good hygiene.

It added that hygiene packs containing face masks and soap were distributed to 29,000 households and 7,200 people with disabilities in the states of intervention.

“We urge our implementing civil society partners to continue to advocate for improved WASH services in their states and to promote citizen engagement to deliver on sustainable WASH services.

“We encourage the governments of the states where we implemented the project to continue to prioritise hygiene access and to ensure increased investment in the WASH sector to cater to the needs of residents in their states,” it said.

The statement however appreciates the Heineken Africa Foundation for the tremendous financial support received for the successful implementation of the project.

The WaterAid’s Scale-Up Hygiene project closes out in Bauchi, Benue, Ekiti, Enugu, Kaduna and Oyo states respectively.

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