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Demonstrating care beyond housing delivery in time of crisis

Health, it is said, is wealth. There is a strong correlation between health and housing. Both have chicken and egg relationship, meaning that whenever there is crisis that threatens health, as it is now with Coronavirus, housing and its suppliers must show care and concern. And that, exactly, is what many of them have been doing in varying degrees in the last couple of months.
When President  Muhammadu   Buhari   ordered   total   lockdown   on Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, beginning from Monday, March 30, 2020 as part of efforts to control the spread of Coronavirus   in Nigeria, the hearts of many individuals, especially in Lagos, were jolted.
The  reason was simple.  Lagos is a city where approximately   6 million out of its 20 million population are   in   the   informal   sector, earning daily wages.  These include the hairdressers,   petty   traders,   vulcanizers,   printers,   welders,   bakers, hawkers, transporters and other artisans. Besides, it is estimated that 1.7 million of the city’s population live in poverty.
Well   aware   of   the   implication   of  the  lockdown  order on these residents, corporates and other organisations joined efforts to combat the disease. While   some   embarked   on   aggressive   public   enlightenment   on   how   to keep safe and avoid contracting the disease, others provided palliatives, in terms of food materials, to assist the residents to cope with the presidential order.
 One of such companies was Propertymart Real Estate Investment Limited, a leading   real   estate   company, which provided both public sensitisation and palliatives.  As an  organisation  alive   to  its   moral   and ethical obligations to its immediate community, the company embarked on a public sensitisation and awareness campaign on COVID-19 in Shangisha and its environs.
The staff of the company educated people on personal hygiene, social   distancing,   and   other   measures   to   avoid   contracting   the   virus. They  emphasised   the   need   to   maintain   good   personal   hygiene,   avoid touching their faces and to wash their hands regularly with soap.
The company also advised them to comply with all laws set out by the federal and state governments to curb the spread of COVID-19.   A   healthcare   kit   containing   sanitisers   and medicated  soap,  among  others,   were distributed   to   people  by   the company.
To further mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic on homes in the neighbourhood, the company shared foodstuff to well over 200 households.
Representatives   of  the company also  visited   the  palace  of   the   Oba   of Shangisha, Oba Jamiu Adetola Ajibola Lawal and left food items for his household, meaning that nobody was left out of the palliative, as even security guards in some premises got food items.
“This   is   a   thoughtful   gesture,   and   we   express   our   gratitude   to Propertymart. They could have chosen to go elsewhere, but they decided that their immediate community should benefit first. God will continue to prosper the company,” said one of the beneficiaries.
Abimbola Arasi,  Propertymart’s   Business Head, explained that the gesture was a continuation of their  corporate social responsibility initiatives. He explained further that the company which has delivered   over 6,000   housing   units   and  serviced   plots   to   families   and individuals   in   Lagos,   Ogun and  the FCT, Abuja, couldn’t just sit back and failed to provide relief to people.
“Shangisha and environs are our immediate community. Though no one expected the pandemic, we just can’t be unfeeling while people struggle to make ends meet as a result of the disruptions this crisis has caused in their daily lives and businesses,” he said.
Arasi also explained that Propertymart began its response to the health crisis with sensitisation campaign, educating people about the deadly nature of the virus and how to avoid contracting it.
“You know, some people assumed it was a hoax, and we needed to let them   know   it   was  real and dangerous.   That   was   why   we   embarked   on   the enlightenment campaign before the food relief.
“Upon the realisation that people   might   be   running   out   of   food   items   in   their   houses,   we   also decided  to intervene  in  that  area.  We are happy  that  the   lockdown  is being gradually relaxed. This will enable people that have exhausted their stock to restock,” he said.
Arasi added that even after the pandemic is defeated, Propertymart will not shirk its responsibilities of assisting its immediate community and others that might need help.
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