So, COVID 19 is not exactly cutting a swathe through the African population as was feared. But vigilance is still of the essence. And as it turns out, water, which Fela declared ‘no get enemy’, can be a worthy ally in the cause.
Which is why Nigerian Breweries, Heineken Africa Foundation and WaterAid Nigeria, as part of the World Water Week, are teaming up to promote lifesaving hygiene education and make provision for handwashing facilities in countries across the continent.
The sad statistic in 21st century Nigeria is that about 60 million people still have no access to clean water. This makes them a lot more vulnerable to the virus should it be present in their environment.
So Heineken Africa Foundation, whose mother company has clean water as a major resource for its product and has therefore built quite a reputation around Water Access, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), has stated a commitment of 5million euros in 2021 towards setting up hand washing facilities and to provide hygiene information in health centres, markets and communities in Nigeria, South Africa, Rwanda, and Mozambique.
Specifically in Nigeria, Heineken’s contribution of 622,000 euros will go towards enabling WaterAid Nigeria to install over 1,000 handwashing stations in health care facilities and other public places.
The General Manager Heineken Africa Foundation, Suzanne Giele lamented that while clean water, decent sanitation and hygiene ought to be a basic human right, “unfortunately, many countries in Africa do not have access to it.” For which reason, she said, the partnership would focus on WASH activities. She promised that there would be additional support as the needs arise in the first half of 2021.