By Ahmed Ahmed
The Heineken Foundation Africa in collaboration with WaterAid Nigeria is to strengthen governance structures on water, sanitation,and hygiene (WASH) administration in Bauchi, Enugu and Oyo states.
Our correspondent reports that Heineken Africa Foundation and WaterAid Nigeria rolled out the second phase of the Scale-Up Hygiene project to complement efforts in the fight against COVID-19.
Dr Evelyn Mere, Country Director of WaterAid Nigeria disclosed this in a statement through Mrs Oluseyi Abdulmalik, Communications and Media Manager of Wateraid Nigeria, made Available to journalists on Tuesday in Bauchi
She said project will strengthen governance structures for WASH service delivery to increase access to clean water and hygiene services.
“The intervention will 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.
“Whilst the world has urgently risen to the challenge of COVID -19 by introducing vaccine administration, every year hundreds of thousands of lives are silently lost because of lack of clean water, decent toilets, and hygiene.
Dr Mere 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.
The Country Director stressed that 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 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 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.
“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.” she said