By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
A Civil Society organization, CSO, WASHMATA INITIATIVE, Wednesday, supported over 1.5 million residents of Mpape, a suburb of Abuja City in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, with 5000L of water and 150 bags of assorted foodstuff to cushion effects of the lockdown and stay-at-home orders to contain the Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic.
The donation was made by the Founder, WASHMATA INITIATIVE, Dr. Bolu Onabolu, who was represented by the Director of Communications, WASHMATA INITIATIVE, Wale Elekolusi, and the Director of Mobilisation, WASHMATA INITIATIVE, Aisha Bakpet, also said the times are difficult for people and deemed it necessary to contribute to support and ameliorate the plight of the people in the area.
Onabolu also said with the intervention as palliative most people will not feel the impact of the lockdown and stay-at-home orders, which they have also done the same to support the Orphanage Home, City of Refuge Orphanage, in the area because of their vulnerability.
The food items include garri, beans, soap, wash-hand basins, nose-masks, water, sanitisers, water tank, and others.
There was also sensitization on good hygiene practices and how to keep safe in order to prevent contracting the virus, which social distancing was strictly observed among men, women, old, young, physically challenged who all received various packages from the items donated.
She said: “WASHMATA INITIATIVE is a non-governmental organisation that is always with the people and as an organization we deemed it necessary to come over to Mpape with over 1.5 million people living here, which most of the residents are daily income earners and dominated by artisans who are not finding the stay-home and lockdown easy as a result of the fight against the deadly Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic.
“We were moved by your and as a responsible and people-oriented organization we will continue to carry our corporate social responsibility even after the pandemic, and that is for all Nigerians to benefit from it because we are not looking at any background but the welfare and well being of Nigerians.
“We have foodstuff including garri, beans, and others even we have brought two big water tanks and have filled them with 5000 liters of water.
“WASHMATA is an organization which focuses on building a society in which everyone, especially the most vulnerable, the neglected, the poorest of the poor and those in hard to reach areas, enjoy continuous, sustainable access to safe, adequate, affordable water, sanitation and hygiene services that contribute to good health and productive livelihoods.”
While appreciating the media, the Director of Communication in the organisation, Wale Elekolusi, said the media has done wonderfully in covering, enlightening, educating and monitoring all about the pandemic before it arrived and eventual penetration in Nigeria through and undisclosed Italian in Lagos State.
However, Elekolusi called on the government to include a very important aspect of the fight against the virus, which is regular water supply to the people, especially those at the rural communities and semi-urban areas, because is currently lacking.
He also emphasized proper sanitation and hygiene practices that should b done in collaboration with Federal Minister of Water Resources, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Rural Water and Sanitation Agencies that would truck water into vulnerable areas, slums, markets, health facilities and initiate urgent rehabilitation of non-functional water supplies for communities, health care facilities, and others.
Meanwhile, District Head of Katampe, Alhaji Adamu Diga, and women leader, Lamine Anthony, expressed deep appreciation to WASHMATA with the promise to guard the tanks jealously and to set up a committee to maintain it.
Also at the City of Refuge Orphanage where WASHMATA donated food items, buckets for washing hands and trucking of Water to its tank, the proprietress of the orphanage, Mrs. Esther Odesola who was represented by Mrs. Ngozi Udeze prayed for the organization.
“We appreciate the gesture by WASHMATA INITIATIVE to the City of Refuge Orphanage, the children and staff appreciate you and will use them well.
“In fact, your organization is the first government or nongovernmental organization to reach out to us since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. We thank you very much”, Udeze said.