WaterAid Nigeria, Heineken Foundation to strengthen governance structures on WASH in Bauchi, Enugu, Oyo
By Akanji Alowolodu, Bauchi
Arrangements have been concluded by Heineken Foundation Africa in collaboration with WaterAid Nigeria to strengthen governance structures on improving Water, Sanitation,and Hygiene (WASH) products in Bauchi, Enugu and Oyo states.
The Project has already been rolled out by Heineken Africa Foundation and WaterAid Nigeria in the second phase of the Scale-Up Hygiene project to ramp up efforts in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in the selected states.
Country Director of WaterAid Nigeria, Dr Evelyn Mere, made the disclosure in a statement made available to journalists in Bauchi on Tuesday.
According to the statement issued by Mrs Oluseyi Abdulmalik, Communications and Media Manager of WaterAid Nigeria, the project will strengthen governance structures for WASH service delivery to increase access to clean water and hygiene services.
It further contained that, “As well support the control of the spread of COVID-19 through hygiene behaviour change interventions. With emerging new variants of the coronavirus, thousands of people are exposed to the risk of contracting the disease” .
Evelyn Mere stated that, “Whilst the world has urgently risen to the challenge of COVID -19 pandemic by introducing vaccine administration, every year hundreds of thousands of lives are silently lost because of lack of clean water, decent toilets, and hygiene” .
She pointed out that there is no doubt that urgent actions to sustain access to WASH are needed as a long-term strategy to fighting against disease spread and warding off future pandemics.
According to her, with the major achievements recorded from the first phase of the project, it is expected that the second phase of the project will deliver on strengthening government structures for better WASH access.
“Having these basic human rights in place helps to stop infectious diseases in its tracks and helps vulnerable communities build back better from economic downturns inflicted by the pandemic”, She stated.
The WaterAid Country Director stressed that the government must respond now to providing infrastructure that sustains WASH at all levels, in preventing disease spread and ensuring pandemic preparedness against future disease outbreaks.
Meanwhile, Mrs Sade Morgan, Corporate Affairs Director, Nigerian Breweries, producers of Heineken Nigeria said,there is concrete proof that good hygiene habits are critical in the eradication of diseases and, COVID-19 is no different.
She said that Heineken is proud to be supporting the phase II of the Scale-Up Hygiene project with WaterAid Nigeria as part of our response to COVID-19.
Sade Morgan said that, “By building on the success of phase 1 of the project, we are optimistic that there will be a greater positive impact on the health and general wellbeing of the selected communities.”