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As part of their contribution towards prevention and spread of the Coronavirus pandemic which has killed two persons in Nigeria, leaving over 170 others infected, the Centre for Information  Technology And Development (CITAD) and  Actionaid Nigeria(AAN), have collaborated to train community facilitators and provided protection materials for vulnerable communities  in the Federal Capital Territory(FCT), to fight the epidemic.

Behavioral Change and Communication materials with messages on COVID 19 were also distributed to representatives of the communities.

Actionaid is an international  non-profit governmental organization that works with communities to reduce poverty, promote human rights and justice worldwide.

The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) on the other hand, is committed to the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for development and promotion of good governance.

Since the outbreak of the virus in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, the virus has spread to other countries, with global cases now surpassing 750,000 and global death toll rising to  over 36,000.

The donated  items which consisted of Public Address  Systems, hand sanitizers, hand gloves, face mask, posters and banners, were handed  to 12 local communities in the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Bwari and Kuje area councils in the FCT to curtail spread of the virus.

Fred from Actionaid Nigeria presenting a Public Address System to the village chief at Leleyi Gwari community in Kwali Area Council of the FCT on Monday, in Abuja.

The beneficiary communities, Dakwa, Gwalada, Gofidna, Jiwa Tsoho, Tungan Ashere, Tungan Nasara, Leleyi Gwari, Kilankwa and Leleyi Basaa, Gauge and Kayache and Pasepa, each received a public address system and large quantities of the  other items for  prevention against the coronavirus.

At Leleyi Gwari community in Kwali Area Council, Fred explains to some members of the community how to use the materials distributed.

Community facilitators in the respective communities were educated on the COVID-19, how it can be transmitted and measures for it’s prevention and spread, to help sensitize other members of the communities.

Actionaid Nigeria Local Rights Programme Advisor, Hajara Adamu-Opaluwa explaining how to use the materials distributed to some members of the Dakwa community.

Behavioral Change and Communication materials with messages on COVID 19 were also distributed to community members.

Hajara Adamu-Opaluwa distributing posters and banners to one of the community facilitators.

Receiving the items donated on behalf of the communities, the village chiefs appreciated the kind gesture and applauded all the programmes  being implemented in their cimmunuties by CITAD and Actionaid Nigeria to make live better for the communities.

The chief of Dakwa community receives some of the items distributed.

This intervention, as the  Actionaid Nigeria’s Country Director, Ene Obi noted yesterday while briefing on efforts made so far by the nonprofit organization towards combating the virus, focused on prevention and control of the spread of covid-19 in communities where Actionaid Nigeria has been offering humanitarian services.

Actionaid Nigeria Country Director, Ene Obi

She explained that  ActionAid Nigeria ’s response has been under its Local Rights Programme which started midweek of March 2020 through working with CITAD and Community facilitators in the 4 Area Councils of Abuja Municipal, Kuje, Bwari and Kwali.

She noted that AAN and CITAD developed messages on how to stay safe from the Corona virus which  were produced in English and translated into local languages (Hausa and Gbagyi) for easy comprehension by the communities where AAN work.

“We have distributed megaphones/public address systems and few demonstrations on the use of sanitizers.  Behavioral Change and Communication materials with messages on COVID 19 were distributed to community members.  Community facilitators placed posters with messages in strategic places in the communities.”

“At the moment focus of the intervention is on prevention and control of the spread of covid-19 in communities where we work. Communities benefitting include Dakwa, Tungar Ashere, Tungar Nasara, Gwalada, Gofidna and Jiwa Tsoho in AMAC, Pasepa and Kuchi Buiyi in Bwari, Gaube, Kayace and Tukpeki in Kuje while Leleyi Bassa, Kilankwa and Leleyi Gwari in Kwali Area council

“In addition, a WhatsApp group have been created where community facilitators will be sharing update on the situation of Coronavirus in their respective communities’” she stated.

The AAN  Country Director disclosed that the organization has opened  discussion  with other 11 LRP Partners across 11 states and other AAN projects in the country to “adopt and replicate this approach in their respective communities where AAN is implementing the LRP intervention.”

According to her, an undisclosed amount of strategic funds have also been released from AAN to different projects partners in different states “especially on how it will affect women from our Women’s Rights Unit.”
We are proposing many other ways of working in different states as AAN has set up a 9-member Committee on COVID-19 drawing up a strategy now on sourcing for funds and seeking innovative ways of working in the environment. AAN will fashion a way to work with our target groups especially (the poor and the most vulnerable – women, children, young people and people with disability). More plans will unfold in the next week,” she further hinted.

Meanwhile, the Local Rights Programme Advisor for  Actionaid Nigeria, Hajara Adamu-Opaluwa, who represented  Actionaid Nigeria at the event, educated  the  community facilitators across the 14 communities in FCT of which the above listed communities are inclusive, about the dangers of COVID-19  and the need  to take communal and individual precautionary measures to stay safe.

She explained to them, how the protection materials and other items donated can be used to prevent infection and spread of the COVID-19.

Earlier,  CITAD Programme Officer,  Salmat Abdulwaheed, noted that it is very important to sensitize local communities about  the new COVID-19 as many of them are not even aware of the existence of the dangerous virus.

She said while some are aware of the disease, they do not believe the extent of the threat and danger it potend to their existence and the necessary precautions or measures to prevent the infection and spread.

“We are here today on a sensitization campaign and to distribute these gift items  because it is very important for these people  who mostly, do not have acess to television and other means of communication to know what is going on presently around the globe like their counterparts in the urban areas.

“We are working together with stakeholders in these community, the Chiefs and community facilitators to ensure these communities are sentized about COVID-19 to receive all the necessary information in order to minimize the spread of the virus among members of the communities who are very vulnerable. “

“We also  want to inculcate  the practice of good hygiene among the community dwellers for their general well being,” said  Abdulwaheed.

She said with the support of Actionaid Nigeria, the facilitator from the communities were trained and educated about COVID-19 to help sensitize other members of the communities and distribute the protection materials to them.

“We ensure that we provide them with information that will keep them updated and alert  so that they can relay the information to the communities,” she emphasized.

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