Over the past two weeks, a Risk Communication and Community Engagement on Covid19 that is being conducted by Community Based Organizations across 21 local governments of Kebbi State, continues to gather momentum and has received a warm embrace by rural dwellers. This was disclosed by the lead Resource Person of the Engagement Muhammed Nasir Karofi, at the end of a progress meeting by the supervisory committee in Birnin Kebbi on Thursday July 23, 2020.
The engagement, an initiative of the Wife of Kebbi State Governor Her Excellency Dr Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, is designed to ensure accurate and reliable information on Covid19 reached all areas of the state. In total, 32 organizations are to conduct active Risk Communication and community Engagement sessions for men and women in two communities each over the next 3 months beginning from 11th of July, 2020. In summary, this project is targeted to cover over over 30,000 persons in 750 rural and urban communities of Kebbi while providing them with facemasks to encourage it’s use.
According to the reports rendered by the supervising CSOs over 100 sessions have so far been conducted in about 60 communities, whilst over 1,000 units of face masks and 3,000 tablets of soap have been distributed.
“Consistent with the national response strategy on Covid19, each session of the engagement is expected to target not more than 20 attendees and social/physical distancing as well as use of Facemasks must be observed.” The Resource Person said.
The meeting offered the opportunity to the CSOs to report on the advocacy visits they have undertaken to LGA stakeholders in order to introduce the CBOs regarding the engagement exercise.
A further step down training and refresher for the CBOs on objectives and programme delivery strategy was also conducted by the CBOs.
“I am happy that our partners, WHO, UNICEF, Oxfam and Breakthrough Action are keen on the project and have given technical support but we need financial support to successfully implement the work plan and pay stipends to the community workers. Although the Kebbi state government under His Excellency Sen. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu has been proactive, all private and corporate bodies in the state equally need to contribute more to the fight against covid19 as governments alone cannot shoulder this burden.” Karofi added.