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Group supports WaterAid COVID-19 response with N284m

By Maureen Ikpeama


        A Non-governmental Organisation,

         Heineken  Africa Foundation  has donated a sum of N284 million (€622,000) to  WaterAid Nigeria for it's  Covid-19 emergency response work.


        The donation will help vulnerable communities protect themselves against the spread of the COVID -19 disease.


        Statement from WaterAid said that the project is designed to strengthen the ongoing efforts to curtail the spread of the coronavirus disease in Nigeria by supporting the government to promote hygiene practices and hygiene behavioural  change on a massive scale.


        The statement reads: "More than 1,000 much needed handwashing facilities will be installed in healthcare centres and other busy public places in Nigeria. Hygiene product packs will be distributed to 12,000 households and 6,000 people with disabilities


        ". A large-scale hygiene campaign will also be carried out on TV, radio and billboards. It is hoped the project will reach millions of people across the country.


        WaterAid observed that ,"Handwashing with soap is the first line of defence against the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19, and that statistics revealed more than 160 million people lack access to basic handwashing facilities, increasing the risk of infection.


        ""The funds are part of the Heineken Africa Foundation’s generous N547 million (€1.2 million) donation to WaterAid to support the international charity’s water, sanitation and hygiene work in vulnerable communities in Sub-Saharan Africa.


        In Nigeria,  the project  will last  for seven months – the Foundation will  support WaterAid’s work in South Africa, Rwanda, and Mozambique. 


        Evelyn Mere, WaterAid Nigeria’s Country Director, said: The need for clean water and good hygiene has never been more urgent as we battle to contain the spread of COVID-19 . Handwashing with water and soap is the first line of defense against COVID-19, but around 60 million Nigerians don't Nigerians don't have access to clean water and a staggering 167 million, that's 84 percent of the population lack access to basic handwashing  facilities with soap and water, making it easy  for the virus to spread.


        Suzanne Giele, the HEINEKEN Africa Foundation General Manager said: "The support of the Heineken Africa Foundation will provide vital support to help us scale up our COVID-19 response work"


        She noted that "Clean water , decent sanitation and hygiene are basic human rights but unfortunately vulnerable communities, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa,  do not have access to these basic essentials.


        "Water sanitation and hygiene have been on our agenda for many years already and I am  happy  that we will scale up and accelerate our efforts in this ield necause  handwashing with soap  not only helps to protect avainst the spread of COVID-19 but also other infectipus disease.


        "Together with  WaterAid, I hope we can make a difference for communities diring these very challenging times and after", she said.

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