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Oyo Govt., HAF, WaterAid, Step Up Preventive Measures Against Diseases, Launch Phase III Of Scale-Up Hygiene Project

Kazeem Awojoodu, Ibadan

Oyo state government in partner with other agencies recently launched Phase lll of scale-up hygiene project.

Naijanewshub.com.ng reports that Oyo state government in its efforts to prevent deadly diseases such as covid-19 and others in conjunction with Heineken African Foundation (HAF) and  Wateraid Nigeria jointly launched Phase lll of the scale-Up hygiene project in Ibadan.

Speaking with journalists shortly after the official launch of the project, Oyo state Rural Water and Sanitation Agency(RUWASSA) Engr. Najeem Omirinde commended Heineken African Foundation and Wateraid Nigeria for their support and commitment to good health of all and sundry in Nigeria most especially Oyo state in particular.

Engr. Omirinde noted that Heineken African Foundation has been doing assisting the state government through their Corporate Social Responsibility services in order  to ensure that our people keep to hygienic ways of living, stressing that Oyo state was so lucky to be among the beneficiaries of the program out of  the 36 states in the country.

“He said out of six states they selected for this project we were picked, they went for second face we were still lucky because we have governor which is up and doing, and this third phase of the project is to ensure sustainability of the phase l and phase ll, if there is anything we have not completed we want to complete it, if we have completed it we want to sustain it.”

“I’m saying this here now that the only drug we have for covid-19 pandemic is simple hygiene, which is washing your hands and at the crisis time they brought us the moveable hand washing machines which were sent to every schools, they also gave us permanent ones which we distributed to our various palaces across the state like Olubadan Palace, Alaafin Palace in Oyo, Soun of Ogbomoso’s Palace and we sent to Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), and other notable broadcasting houses, and other public places so we are very grateful to them for supporting us with all these machines most especially at a time that our people needed them most, they came at the right time of need and that is the first phase of the project and which is really laudable.”

“At the second phase they came to give us all the polices that we need before we can have international donor in issue of Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), there was a time the federal ministry of water resources sent a letter to us that they will give us a sanitation grant and in the requirement we need ODF which we just launched recently, we need WASH policy which WaterAid supported us on this, but we still on it, so this phase lll of scale up hygiene is like completing what we have in phase ll and at the same time sustain what we have in phase l, so we are having benefits as Oyo state is concern.”

“We have a support of UNICEF, UNICEF left Oyo state seven years ago, but when this Seyi Makinde led administration came on board and they saw that we are very transparent and accountable, and they saw in us that we are people’s government they now came and supported in two local governments which are Ona Ara and Egbeda LGAs, they do this on base lined data, they realized we have to renovate some certain boreholes in these selected areas and now we ten hand pump holes renovated and twelve renovated for the powered solar borehole, the project is ongoing and I can assure you in the next two weeks everything will be completed but I urge all the residents to manage those facilities well, because all those facilities are their own, they should protect it and maintain it for their own good.” Engr. Najeem said.

In his contributions the corporate affairs manager for Nigerian Breweries for the west Mr. Danjuma John Ekele, said this is the third part of the hand wash focus that we’ve embarked upon in our foundation which is the Heineken Africa Foundation and we’ve been doing this exercise since the heat of covid-19 time phase l and phase ll and today we’ve just launched the phase lll to compliment what we’ve started in the last two years.

“We have done over 270 placement of hand wash point in the state and we have touched all the 33 local government of the state with this hand wash and beyond those numbers we have been able to affect hundreds of indigenes, I’m talking of families involving the children especially during the heat of covid-19 pandemic and that really affected the economy of the state as at that time because when other states were on the lock down, Oyo was doing well everybody were going about their lawful businesses because they adopted the use of hygiene.”

“We did not achieve this alone but with the networking with other government agencies and partners who helped to sensitize the citizens on the need for them to be hygienic so we have a high level of awareness when it comes to the basic and the core of hand washing that washing your hands was key in combating the covid-19 virus.”

“For us in Nigeria,  we’ve been here for decades, next year will be 40 years of operations in Ibadan so been here as a citizens of the state the HAF has been supporting in health and water provision across various part of the country, when I was in the North we did the same by assisting in area of provison of health facilities through our HAF foundation but here as Nigerian Breweries there are lots of things we do under our Corporate Social  Responsibility service. Danjuma said.

Earlier in her speech, Mrs. Idowu Adebayo the Project Manager for Wateraid said in response to covid-19 pandemic outbreak in 2020, wateraid received funding to begin implementing a large-scale hygiene behaviour change project in six states namely Bauchi, Benue, Ekiti, Enugu, Kaduna and Oyo under the fist phase of the scale up hygiene project and the second phase in Bauchi, Enugu and Oyo.

Mrs Adebayo further noted that with support of other partners and stakeholders Wateraid has achieved in key milestones that realised the project’s objectives, stressing that the project in both phases empowered 26 million people with context-specific hygiene behaviour change promotion packages of tools and insights that we designed to help them protect themselves from covid-19.

She said, “we have installed 270 non-contact and inclusive hand washing facilities in health centers, schools and public places and hygiene packs were distributed to marginalized communities to help curb the spread of the disease. Oyo State government has complemented the project’s efforts by setting up a WASH unit in all the local government areas of the state, we commend the this remarkable step of the state government in prioritizing water, sanitation and hygiene.”

“We are delighted to continue this journey and partnership as we embark on the third phase of the project on Oyo state to curb the spread of covid-19 and other infectious diseases which continue to pose a huge threat to the public and the economy, exacerbating poverty, poor quality healthcare service and deepening already existing inequalities.” Adebayo said.

The launch event was witnessed by top government officials, water and sanitation stakeholders and partners, officials from the state primary health care board, Officials from the OYORUWASSA, representative of Ibadan South West Local Government, Mr. Marcus Williams the country director of LIWOM among others.

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