….As Ebola Survivors and Communities commend WASH sector for Initiative – By: WASH R&E “Media” Network – As the WASH sector “Operation WASH Ebola Away” continues, the sector and partners have extended the operation to Margibi County, a county hard hit by the Ebola outbreak.
Operation WASH Ebola Away was launched in Kakata, capital of the county with the distribution of 8,000 thousand hygiene tool kits for the use of communities affected by the dreadful Ebola virus.
The hygiene tool kit is comprised of two jerry cans, 12 pieces of soap, Clorox, rubber bucket with faucet, 3 bottles of water guard, 2 pairs of gloves, a thermometer and a rubber cup.
Launching the operation on behalf of the WASH sector, Deputy Public Works Minister for Administration, Jackson Paye, said the sector was gratified to extend the program in Margibi County, as a way of putting in place measures that would stop the further spread of the Ebola virus in the county.
Deputy Minister Paye told citizens of the county that the launch of the operation is in conjunction of the National Task force on Ebola.
He said the sector in its strategy has decided to use a community based approach to combat the Ebola virus.
He noted that the WASH sector has been in the vanguard addressing the issue of water, sanitation and hygiene and at this crucial period of the country’s history, it was also necessary for the sector to assist in the fight against Ebola.
Providing an overview of the strategy, the head of the National Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Promotion Committee, Abdul Koroma said the approach by the sector is target communities about good hygiene practices.
Mr. Koroma noted that the WASH sector views the fight against Ebola as a collective one that requires the participation of all sector partners.
He added that it is through the sector’s strategy the idea of a Community Care Center came about.
The Head of the National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion Committee, named four strategy areas which play a crucial part in “Operation WASH Ebola Away”.
He named, Distribution of Hygiene kits, Hygiene Promotion to Communities, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Ebola Treatment Units-ensuring that these centers have safe WASH facilities, Waste Management including solid and liquid waste management in ETUs and capacity building, as the four strategy areas.
Mr. Koroma noted that WASH plays a crucial role in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease.
Also making remarks, Margibi County Superintendent, John Buway thanked the WASH sector for such a brilliant strategy and for remembering the people of the county.
Superintendent Buway, asserted that the fight around the disease is all about good hygiene practice and as such the role of the WASH sector cannot be overemphasized.
He assured the sector that the kits provided by WASH Partners and Government will be used by citizens in the fight against Ebola.
The Margibi County Superintendent said with the provision of the kits, it is a clear indication that the county is not along in the fight against Ebola.
He called residents of the county to ensure that the kits are used for the intended purpose.
Also so speaking in Gotono Town, an area that was hard hit by the virus, Assistant Public Works Minister for Community Services, George Yarngo expressed his sympathy to individuals who relatives and friends lost their lives to Ebola.
Assistant Minister Yarngo said the intervention by the WASH sector is intended to break the transmission of the virus.
He reminded the recipients that medical intervention is not the only most appropriate way in combating the disease, because not every one that is taken to the ETUs survives.
He cautioned residents that hand washing is the best way of breaking the transmission of the Ebola virus.
Assistant Minister Yarngo disclosed that if the practice of hand washing was taken seriously in Liberia, the virus would have been contained quickly.
He informed residents that the sector has allocated eight thousand (8,000) kits for the entire county, but the four thousand (4,000) kits were the initial start to the distribution of Ebola preventive materials in the county.
He also said the distribution of the kits in various communities is intended to promote hand washing.
Receiving the items, the Chairman of in Gotono Town, Alfred Jebbo thanked the WASH sector and government of Liberia for intervention in the county.
Mr. Jebbo said his top priority will focus on ensuring that the kits get to individuals who are affected by the virus.
“The virus wept killed may people in this county”, He recounted devastating effect of the virus in his community.
Commending Government and partners, an Ebola survivor Wonnor Dunnor, expressed his appreciation to Government of Liberia for the gesture.
Mr. Dunnor called on others to emulate the good example of the WASH sector by joining the fight against the virus.
He said as a member of the Ebola survival group, he will ensure that community members get the facts about the Ebola virus.
Operation WASH Ebola Away is expected to be launched in Liberia’s 15 political sub divisions by the WASH sector to break the transmission of the Ebola Virus Disease.
The operation is been heavily supported by Global Communities, an American based charity.
The charity is implementing USAID ALERT Project in the various counties.
Assisting Liberians with Education to Reduce Transmission (ALERT) has brought a major change in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease.
The issue of timely removal of Ebola dead bodies and safe burial were major challenges faced by the National Task Force on Ebola.
Today, bodies are no longer seen on the streets of Monrovia and others parts of the country as before.
The project main focus is gear towards reducing transmission of diseases through educating locals about the prevention and spread of diseases, especially the Ebola virus, strengthening the capacity of health teams at the local level by providing trained Public Health Technicians.