AN international organisation, WaterAid in partnership with the Aid Foundation and Kaduna State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Authority (RUWASSA) has inaugurated a Scaling-up Hygiene Project, targeting 5,000 households in the state.
Mr Emmanuel Bonet, Executive Director of the Aid Foundation, stated this at the investiture of the project on Tuesday in Kaduna.
Bonet said the initiative was designed to promote good hygiene practices to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He explained that the project would be implemented through a government-led mechanism to ensure ownership and sustainability in 14 Local Government Areas of the state.
The Director listed the participating LGAs to include Kaduna North; Chikun, Kaduna South, Igabi, Kaura, Birnin Gwari, Kauru and Ikara.
Others were Ikara; Kajuru, Sanga, Sabon Gari, Zangon Kataf, Kagarko, and Soba, adding that which would end in January 2021.
Bonet noted that the project would focus on three critical areas: hygiene promotion, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) advocacy and direct services.
According to him, the goal is to improve hygiene practices to achieve better health outcomes and general wellbeing of the people.
He said: “The hygiene promotion will involve large scale campaigns, WASH advocacy will influence long term prioritisation of WASH, while direct services will provide water facilities at primary healthcare centres and public institutions.
“We hope to reach more than 4.0 million people with hygiene promotion messages using a wide range of behavioural change communication channels, such as jingles, billboards, mainstream and social media.
“Kaduna State is the third most populated state in Nigeria and like others states in the country, it is not well equipped to manage the devastating impact of the widespread transmission of COVID-19.
“This stressed the need for proactive, preventive and protective measures to be implemented and handwashing with soap and water is the first line of defense against transmission of the virus.”
Also speaking, Adedayo Idowu, Water Aid Project Manager in the state, said that the project was designed to strengthen ongoing efforts by governments aimed at stemming further spread of the pandemic in the country.
Idowu said the project being implemented in Kaduna; Bauchi, Benue, Ekiti, Enugu, and Oyo States was to support national and state governments to promote good hygiene practices.
“More than 1,000 hand washing facilities will be install in selected locations and public places while hygiene product packs will be distributed to 12,000 household in the selected states.
“Also, 6,000 vulnerable persons nationwide, including those living with disabilities would be reached while a large-scale hygiene campaign will also be carried out on television, radio and billboards,” she said.
In a remark, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, Special Adviser on Media and Communication to Gov. Nasir El-Rufai, described the project as crucial in the campaign against COVID-19 pandemic.
Adekeye said the state government had adopted proactive measures to curb the spread of the virus in rural communities, through awareness creation activities and provision of WASH facilities.
According to him, the people need to be enlightened on precautionary steps to protect themselves against the virus, by not living in fear but living in care.
On his part, Ahmed Munir, Director-General of KADRUWASSA, thanked the WaterAid and Aid Foundation for the partnership to reach communities with WASH facilities and information.
Munir said that with the support of DFID and UNICEF, the Agency had completed 3,414 water projects designed with 10,084 water points between 2019 to date.
He added that the projects were executed under the Sanitation, Hygiene and Water in Nigeria Project II.
“The Agency equally completed the installation of 1,154 WASH facilities, while 2,834 communities with 1.2 million populations have been certified Open Defecation Free,” he said. (NAN)
– Sept. 1 2020 @ 19:05 GMT |