WaterAid, an International non-profit working in 28 countries to improve access to clean water and good hygiene has received massive collaborative support from Heineken Africa Foundation for her new “Scale up Hygiene” project in Africa.

According to a statement issued by Water Aid Nigeria, the “Scale up Hygiene” Project is designed to strengthen ongoing efforts to curtail the spread of the coronavirus disease in Nigeria by supporting national and state governments to promote hygiene practices and hygiene behaviour change on a massive scale.

“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 defence against Covid-19, but around 60 million Nigerians don’t have access to clean water and a staggering 167 million, that’s 84% of the population, lack access to basic handwashing facilities with soap and water, making it easy for the virus to spread. The support of the HEINEKEN Africa Foundation will provide vital support to help us scale up our Covid-19 response work.”  said Evelyn Mere, WaterAid Nigeria’s Country Director

Declaring its support for the project, HEINEKEN Africa Foundation, which is a separate legal entity from Heinkein Company disclosed that WaterAid Nigeria’s Covid-19 emergency response work will be supported with a N284 million (€622,000) donation, which will help vulnerable communities protect themselves against the spread of disease. 

“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” said Suzanne Giele, the HEINEKEN Africa Foundation General Manager.

Giele, in her statement, “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 field because handwashing with soap not only helps to protect against the spread of COVID-19 but also other infectious diseases. Together with WaterAid, I hope we can make a difference for communities during these very challenging times and after.” 

“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.” said Wateraid statement.

Handwashing with soap is the first line of defence against the spread of infectious diseases such as Covid-19, but according to Government statistics more than 160 million lack access to basic handwashing facilities with soap and water, increasing the risk of infection.

As well as with Nigeria – where the work will last seven months – the Foundation will support WaterAid’s work in South Africa, Rwanda, and Mozambique. 

By Dotun Roy

DotunRoy.com is a development driven news website with the overall goal of amplifying, promoting and advocating for positive societal change through Sustainable Development advocacy in line with UN SDGs components such as education, environmental sustainability and Climate Change, Human Rights, health, finance, housing, good governance as well as security in Nigeria and across the world.

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