UNICEF today handed over 1,000 WASH COVID 19 kits to the Ministry of Health and the Fiji Council of Social Services that will go towards affected families or persons in isolation.
Each kit comprising of washing soap, sanitary pads, toothpaste, disinfectant surface cleaner, hand sanitisers and masks will be given to families identified via a needs assessment that was recently carried out by FCOSS in three divisions across Fiji.
UNICEF representative to the Pacific Jonathan Vietch said: “I appreciate the leadership from the Ministry of Health is taking in this area. WASH is an essential part of our work. If you look at how we are responding in Tonga, in the Solomons, in Kiribati, we do a lot of WASH work. It is a core part of our mandate. We are the lead agency supporting the government in the WASH cluster.
“So last month, significant rainfall as a result of the cyclone caused flooding in the northern and western parts of the country including the Lau Group. The flooding caused extensive damage to WASH sources impacting on sanitation facilities as well. We commend the ministry’s effort to ensure communities have access to clean water, proper sanitation and hygiene in the aftermath of cyclone.”
FCOSS Director Vani Catanisiga said that they were in the process of analysing their findings from the assessment that was carried out in the North, West and Central divisions. The organisation will then share its findings with UNICEF, the ministry and relevant stakeholders and thereafter assist health offices across those division distribute the kits to families most in need.
Minister for Health Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete thanked UNICEF and FCOSS for their support towards the Ministry of Health’s efforts to ensure all Fijians have access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene.
The items handed over today bring to 7,313 the total number of WASH kits that the Ministry of Health has received through the UN agency benefitting more than 31,000 people from more than 6,000 households across Fiji.
The ministry is expecting to receive 2,000 more of these WASH kits from UNICEF in the coming weeks.
Handed over today as well were 2,000 printed copies of the Community Health Workers WASH Manual that was funded through UK AID. The copies will be distributed to all community health workers.
Dr Waqainabete also acknowledged UNICEF and DFAT in the procurement of 810 field latrines which were distributed during tropical cyclones Harold, Yasa, Ana and the most recent Tropical Cyclone Cody.