The effect of the rapidly increasing COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria can be seen in every aspect of our society, and the current shut down of all activities in most states, with people compelled to stay home to limit virus spread, comes with unintended consequences. This is because social distancing, which is believed to be the best preventive measure, destabilizes regular routines across all sectors, thus negatively impacting health and economic outcomes for the country, among other impacts. Lack of basic services like water and electricity will compound the scarcity of funds to afford food, soaps and sanitizers.
Most urban poor and rural Nigerians live on daily sales/wages, and an extended shutdown will lead to hunger and malnutrition in these low-income groups. Illiteracy and inadequate sensitization will also lead to an increase in sickness and deaths from COVID-19 as people disregard social distancing orders and continue to move around and spread the virus.
For health and safety measures of social distancing to be effective in Nigeria and reduce the spread of COVID-19, interventions are needed to target the lack of awareness, the rise of myths, income loss and inability to afford food, soap, water and other protective materials. SI4DEV is supporting the pandemic response as follows:
- Provide food and hygiene materials such as hand wash and sanitizers to low income families, orphanages and old people’s homes.
- Provide water and soap basins at strategic places in local communities.
- Subsidize data charges to enable online training of community volunteers.
- Produce flyers and posters in local Nigeria languages with correct covid-19 precautions and share with influencers on the ground.
- Provide face masks, gloves and other protective equipment to health care workers in rural primary care facilities.
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SI4DEV has begun the training of volunteers so they can disseminate proper information in the community. We will partner with experienced NGOs with expertise in these areas to deliver humanitarian support for a more effective COVID-19 response. These volunteers will get the opportunity to boost skills needed to conduct needs and resource assessments, identify and engage community influencers, disseminate proper messaging, communicate strategically to media channels, and manage logistics for direct outreach.
SI4DEV believes that local NGOs are faster, nimbler and more innovative in the work they do. They also are more cost-effective and have more trust since they are closer to their communities and understand the local context better.
Organizations like SI4DEV and our proposed partners are deeply rooted in their local communities and are therefore best positioned to provide reliable support at times like this when western NGOs are pulling their staff out of the country and fund raising to focus relief efforts elsewhere. This plan will help strengthen local capacity for future disaster or outbreak relief work as well as general organizational planning and management.
To donate in Nigeria, you can do an online bank transfer. Thank you as you give.
Bank Name: Strategy and Innov for Dev Initiative
Account Number: 0366172770