UK launches hygiene project in Zambia

BRITISH High Commissioner to Zambia Nicholas Woolley says despite some successes, no country can say it has got its response to the coronavirus completely right.

The UK government has launched the Hygiene and Behaviour Change Coalition project in Zambia in partnership with Unilever and WaterAid Zambia.

According to the British High Commission, the project will promote good hygiene practices to help tackle the spread of coronavirus in Zambia, targeting Lusaka, Monze, Kazungula, Livingstone, Mwandi, Mwense and Samfya districts.

The project would help raise awareness of good hygiene practices and drive behaviour change to make sure people are washing their hands with soap regularly and disinfecting surfaces.

This, according to the statement, is a key part of helping to stop the spread of coronavirus both in Zambia and globally.

It stated that the project would also help to improve hygiene facilities in the targeted districts.

Speaking at the launch, High Commissioner Woolley said the world had been shocked by the outbreak of the coronavirus this year, including both Zambia and the UK.

“Despite extraordinary efforts to contain the virus, it continues to spread around the world. And despite some successes, no country can say it has got its response completely right. We are all still learning,” he said. “Over the last few months, we have all had to change our behaviours in many different ways to help to stop its spread. One of the most effective ways to achieve this goal has been to make sure we are all washing our hands regularly and keeping our surroundings clean.”

High Commissioner Woolley, however, said many people around the world lack access to basic handwashing facilities, including soap, or are not aware of the urgent need to change.

“We cannot hope to eradicate the coronavirus unless this is addressed. Water Aid has already been partnering with the Zambian government’s Kutuba Campaign and I am very pleased that they will bring this experience and expertise to deliver this Hygiene and Behaviour Change Coalition project in seven districts in Zambia. I am delighted that under this partnership, the UK Government and Unilever will provide support to this Hygiene and Behaviour Change Coalition project, which we launch here today,” he said.

As part of the UK’s commitment to helping tackle the global spread of coronavirus, it announced a new partnership with Unilever in March this year to promote good hygiene practices.

The UK, through the Department for International Development, and Unilever would each contribute £50 million to the partnership with the aim to reach up to one billion people worldwide through the initiative, particularly vulnerable populations such as those living in informal settlements, internally displaced populations, refugees and children living on the streets.

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