The novel Coronavirus pandemic from 2019 became a serious health concern in Nigeria which led to a lockdown on March 30th in 3 states; Lagos, Ogun, and Abuja. Though, other states followed suit subsequently.
Without warning, businesses had to close up reducing these bubbling cities into sleepy towns. Many were and are still affected, but despite the stringent security enforcement in place I noticed motorcyclist in Kuje Area Council, Abuja putting their lives at risk from both the virus and law enforcement agencies because they had no other means to sustain themselves and families. These set are daily earners who barely had passengers roaming the streets speeding around in search of their daily bread.
The SI4DEV sponsored project in partnership with VisionDR set out to educate 32 motorcyclists about Coronavirus and the safety measures to be practiced which will endeavour their safety, reducing the potential spread of the virus, and keeping others safe while at it. Bags containing food items (rice, beans, garri, tomatoe paste, spices, oil) and basic PPE (Face mask, gloves, sanitizer, hypo) were distributed to motorcylists at different locations from the general hospital to tipper garage. Relief items were distributed with the assistance of 3 SI4DEV volunteers on foot which enabled them adhere to the 2m social distancing rule at the same time encouraging the motorcylists to adopt this practice amongst themselves, even if they cannot do so with their passengers on a ride.
Sensitisation was facilitated in English, Hausa, or Pidgin depending on the level of understanding. The relief item was happily received by the motorcylist and they were quite attentive in listening to the volunteers and quickly adopted the necessary measures by dooming the face mask and gloves and observing social distancing.
The face mask comes at a good time when the government has placed a directive for the compulsory wearing of face mask in the state from May 1, 2020.
We are grateful to SI4DEV, donors and volunteers present for providing support to this group in these uncertain times. We believe lives has been positively affected by this project as many people come in contact with transporters on a daily basis.