For several years, Governments, Non-Governmental Organizations, Philanthropists, and corporate entities have taken the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to heart. This has resulted in the implementation of several projects and programs, each addressing one or more of the 17 goals of the SDGs.
One of these goals is:
Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
The emergence of COVID-19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019) and the need to improve the transmission of cases, has made WASH an all-important goal. Guidelines require frequent handwashing with soap and clean water for at least twenty seconds.
But this doesn’t stop there! There’s a need for behavioral change towards WASH practices. Again, establishing a sustainable system that ensures that these individuals get acquainted with these practices in health facilities and public places has become imperative.
Scale-up Hygiene Project builds upon this understanding as it seeks to establish functional measures and systems via collaboration to ensure both community and Government adoption of safe hygiene practices that prevent the spread of not only COVID-19 but infections related to unhygienic practices also.
This document provides a high-level view of what this project entails, vis-à-vis:
- The goal and objectives,
- Target population, and
- Stakeholders involved
Overview of RUWASSA/WaterAid COVID-19 Project
The details, expectations, targets, and stakeholders of this project are briefed here.
Goal and Objectives
Scale-up Hygiene Project focuses on curbing the spread of COVID-19 and other related pandemics. Particularly, it seeks to achieve this by Improving the provision of sustainable WASH service in Oyo State, thereby strengthening the ability of the state to provide a primary and first-line response to the citizenry and institutions.
Further, the project outlines three (3) core objectives:
- Improve citizen’s safety against COVID-19 via education and increased awareness of its dangers;
- Deepen sensitization and advocacy for improved WASH services as a long term sustainable approach to addressing future pandemics and other social and development needs; and
- Support, with the immediate provision of handwashing devices to Health Care Facilities/Public Places to enable improved handwashing activities at these places, thus reducing the potential spread of COVID-19.
Key focal areas include:
- Water Sanitation and Hygiene
- Health Facilities and Public Places
- Government Ownership
- Increased awareness of COVID-19
Primarily, the project focuses on two major sectors in Oyo State:
- Health Care Facilities
- Public places such as churches, mosque, eateries, hotels, among others.
Nevertheless, the long-term spill-off impact focuses on the behavioral change of individuals towards WASH as a sustainable strategy or practice to curb the spread of COVID-19 and other related pandemics.
Heineken Africa Foundation (HAF) is the funder. HAF is a non-profit organization established in 2007 to improve the health of needy communities in Sub-Saharan African countries where Heineken operates. They work towards achieving this by supporting mother and child healthcare and water-related projects.
Who is involved?
The execution of this project involves collaboration from several entities with varying levels of inputs from development, monitoring, control to implementation. We have highlighted the major stakeholders below:
- Heineken Africa Foundation (HAF): HAF is the direct funder of the project and is responsible for ensuring the availability of funds for achieving the outlined objectives.
- WaterAid Nigeria (WANG): WANG is a charity organization driven by the mission to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalized people by improving access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene. WANG acts as the development partner to provide key program path for achieving success.
- Living Word Mission (LIWOM): LIWOM, known officially as La Vie Mot Global Mission, is Non-Governmental and Faith-Based organization focused on securing the future for every child in Nigeria via holistic outreach to urban and rural families for the total development of the child. LIWOM comes in as an implementing partner providing Financial, Administrative, and Program Delivery processes.
- Oyo State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA): RUWASSA is a government agency saddled with the responsibility of both the control and supply of potable water to rural communities within the state. RUWASSA will partner with LIWOM and WaterAid to ensure the delivery of standards-compliant WASH services to the target population utilizing their experience from their rural water supply schemes.
- Other Stakeholders: In addition to the above stakeholders, others include but not limited to Health facilities, The State Government, Religious bodies, Community Leaders, Line Ministries (e.g. Ministry of Education, Ministry of Women Affair and Social Inclusion, etc.), Mass Media, among others.
This project is a leap in the right direction towards strengthening existing systems to respond to the spread of COVID-19 and other possible pandemics by improving Water Sanitation and Hygiene systems and practices.
The choice of health facilities and public places seeks to cut-off the spread dynamics as these places are known for higher risks of transmission. Successfully implementation of this project assures notable improvements on the health safety of the citizens of the state.
Overall, it will “… improve water sanitation and hygienic practices” for a healthier community!