From : Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
A Group under the auspices of Water Aid, has said over 5000 households in Kaduna state will benefit from its Scaling-up Hygiene Project to help in curbing Covid-19 and other water borne diseases.
Executive Director of Aid Foundation, Mr Emmanuel Bonet, made the assertions during the launching of the project in kaduna yesterday.
Bonet 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 project which is in collaboration with Aid Foundation and Kaduna State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Authority (RUWASSA), was designed to promote good hygiene practices to in 14 vulnerable local government areas.
The Director listed the benefiting LGAs as Kaduna North; Chikun, Kaduna South, Igabi, Kaura, Birnin Gwari, Kauru and Ikara, Kajuru, Sanga, Sabon Gari, Zangon Kataf, Kagarko, and Soba.
Bonet noted that the project would focus on three critical areas: hygiene promotion, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) advocacy and direct services, adding that, the goal is to improve hygiene practices to achieve better health outcomes and general wellbeing of the people.
According to him, “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,” he said.
Unveiling the project, the Special Adviser on Media and Communication to Gov. Nasir El-Rufai, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, described the project as crucial in the campaign against COVID-19 pandemic, saying that, 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.
He however stressed that, the people need to be enlightened on precautionary steps to protect themselves against the virus and other water borne diseases, 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, adding 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 population have been certified Open Defecation Free,” he said.
Earlier, Water Aid Project Manager, Adedayo Idowu, said that the project was designed to strengthen ongoing efforts by governments aimed at stemming further spread of the pandemic in the country, noting that the project is being implemented in Kaduna; Bauchi, Benue, Ekiti, Enugu and Oyo States.